Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
10/22/12 9:51 am EST

The 76ers have had a pretty solid start to the 2012 preseason, especially considering they are playing without their prized off-season pickup, Andrew Bynum.  The thinking goes that the team will only improve once Andrew hits the hardwood, so the team’s 5-1 start to this preseason sans-Bynum is pretty promising. 

The Sixers have bested Eastern Conference foes Boston (2x), Cleveland, Brooklyn, and Orlando, with their only loss coming in overtime at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall to the Nets.

One of the brightest points for the 7-6 this preseason has been the play of the newly-acquired Nick Young (15 & 6 rbs. last night), who has taken little time to find his flow in Philly’s offense.  A slasher with nearly unlimited range, Young can score in a variety of ways and provides Philly with the type of threat that they’ll need to compliment Bynum.  As a bonus he has shown an ability to rebound and flashes of a defensive presence that he had not displayed previously in his career.

Through six games this preseason Nick has been putting up an impressive 16 points per night in twenty six minutes a game.  This output would have been more than enough to lead the 2011-12 Sixers in scoring last season; not bad for a dude that isn’t playing “starter’s minutes”.   Although if you recall, the Sixers’ leading scorer last season, Lou Williams, was in a reserve as well, so there under Doug Collins, there appears to be plenty of potential for Nick to continue to produce at this high level.

Even more impressive than Nick’s overall output this preseason is the efficiency with which he’s scoring.  The common misconception of NY is that he is a high volume shooter.  Others have been less kind in describing his game and claim that while he can score points in bunches, he needs a lot of looks to do so, and his shot selection has been known to make coaches cringe.  While this rap has stuck with him throughout his NBA career, very little of this cavalier style of play has been seen thus far in Philly.

Instead, Nick has been getting his 16 points per night by shooting an impressive 49% from the field, topped off with an unconscious 47.8 percent from beyond the arc.  All of these numbers represent a vast improvement over his five year career averages.  Those averages — 42% from the field, 37% from three, and 11.4 ppg. — pale in comparison to the numbers Nick has been piling up this preseason.

Nick’s offensive arsenal and output thus far have been a great sign for Sixer fans, but it is important to realize that production at this level will probably not be sustained throughout a full 82 game season.  Preseason defense is notoriously shaky in general, and little of Nick’s scoring success this preseason has come against a team or player necessarily noted for their defense.  Just because Nick has been able to pile up points against subpar defenders in the preseason, does not mean he will be able to provide the same production throughout the season.

However, once Andrew Bynum enters the lineup, the big man’s presence on the block will demand attention and draw defenders off of the Sixers’ shooters such as NY, making their job easier and leaving them what should be ample open shot opportunities.  If Young is able to cash in on these open opportunities with even somewhat of a similar efficiency to that with which he has shown so far this preseason, then he really has the chance to be something special for the Sixers this season.


22 Responses to “SWAGGY SURPRISE”

  1. Jim
    22. October 2012 at 12:27

    So…how long will it be before Steve Toll comments on this article espousing his normal anti-Nick Young rhetoric? I’ve got my money on within the next half hour.

  2. Gary
    22. October 2012 at 12:33

    Hey do you guys feel Turner might be benched or even Traded around All Star Weekend.

    I mean D Wright is killing it right now.

  3. C From West Philly
    22. October 2012 at 12:57

    Nick Young is the new Vinnie”The Microwave”Johnson.

  4. Philadunkia
    22. October 2012 at 13:01


    I don’t know what is going to happen with Turner. He looked somewhat better last night (10 & 5 in 26 mins before the ankle injury), but he still took some ill advised shots (4-11 FGAs) that made me cringe. Right now I think he is pressing too hard in an effort to prove himself and it’s having a negative impact on his play. I’d like to see him dial it back a little and let the game come to him more, so that I could actually make a fair assessment of what to do with this kid (In the past I thought Dre was blocking his development and Collins was playing games with him and that combo was holding him back.). But that doesn’t seem to be his style and I think it’s clear he’s starting to frustrate Collins a good deal.

    If we do trade ET it would have to be for a elite level perimeter defender, because without Turner, there is no one on this team who can come close to guarding the high scoring 2’s and 3’s in this League.

    As always, thanks for reading and commenting.

    — C. Smith

  5. Pat
    22. October 2012 at 13:20

    Anyone want to break down last nights win vs the c’s I know it’s preseason but all I have heard so far is about swaggy p 15, 6 RBs…

  6. Coach
    22. October 2012 at 15:08

    Gary, Philadunkia,

    in regards to Turner… i love the kid, but we shoulda got favors.

  7. Rick
    22. October 2012 at 16:13

    I caught most of the game on the League Pass NE feed. At one point when discussing Bynum, Tom Heinsohn said his “sources in Philly said” that they didn’t expect him back until at least Thanksgiving and he “hasn’t even started riding a bike” yet.

    Now, Tommy is a blowhard and I almost never actually hear anything he says but between this a Fratello’s comments the other night it gave me pause.

    Does anyone really know what’s going on here or are we looking at another Chase Utley-type mystery of sandbagging by the player and/or team?

  8. Brett
    22. October 2012 at 16:15

    hey Gary, i think they’ll trade evan turner and spencer hawes and maybe even thaddeus for a star power forward, that would be a good trade especially if it was just turner and hawes

  9. larry smith
    22. October 2012 at 18:50


  10. freezer
    22. October 2012 at 19:28

    I’m not that concerned with turners jumper at this point. Its pretty clear hes not going to be a consistent scoring option this year, but that doesn’t mean hes not a asset. What worries me about Turner is he might feel the need to prove hes a scorer and disrupt the offense ala swaggy P but without the stroke that could turn him into a bust.
    As far as all around game I must admit I’m impressed. When Turner has the ball in his hands he looks good. This is a guy that’s 6’7 and can handle the ball and rebound like crazy. Hes also the best hope we have for a perimeter stopper. Now if Doug can sell him on focusing on the defensive end and on the boards Turner could be very deadly in the open court once he rebounds the ball. I also like the idea of having two playmakers on the floor. We need skilled passers to get bynum the ball in his spots, also to find our scorers. Basically my point is don’t hate to much even if he shoots 40% from the field if he can rack up 12pts 6 or 7 boards 4 or 5 assists in like 34 mpg while playing tight defense he could easily warrant a spot on a contender. In half court sets my dream strategy for the sixers is holiday becoming something between arenas and mo williams on offense with turner playing point forward from the wing and post.

  11. B-Real
    23. October 2012 at 00:34

    Can we play some regular season games and see how everybody fits around Bynum before we decide on who to trade. Can we see if Moultrie is a player before blowing up the team to get a stud PF and do the midseason blockbuster trades even work out for the teams?

  12. Hank
    23. October 2012 at 09:54

    Actually freezer, in my opinion if he doesn’t figure out how to knock down (at least) mid range jumpers he hasn’t proven himself to be an asset. He can push the pace, and occasionally he shows flashes of being a skilled point forward, but frequently these plays lead to out of control low percentage shots or turnovers. His offensive numbers have been absolutely horrible thus far, because opposing defenses have no respect for his jumper and force him to drive into pressure.

    That being said, the kid is a monster rebounder. This is a solid asset right now. His defense appears to be a bit above average (this is very subjective, obviously) which is saying something considering how many minutes he’s played in teh league. If he can elevate this to be a true plus, he will have value.

    However, he’ll always be a liability on offense if he can’t learn to either shoot the mid range j with some consistency or look solely to be a facilitator rather than a scorer.

  13. Sun of Man
    23. October 2012 at 14:05

    Turner has a killer mentality. Something that Iguadola never had. If you watched a lot of games in college that Turner had (which I did) you are somewhat flabbergasted that he is struggling with his jumper. His ability to take it to the hole, make the big shot, and the willingness to do it is still in his DNA. It’s way too premature to cast away turner. Once he gets his killer confidence back and his jumper he’s going to be special.

  14. Jeff McMenamin
    23. October 2012 at 14:46

    @ Hank and Freezer,

    I find it funny that you’re drilling Turner as the teams 3rd or 4th option for not getting his jumper to fall yet, when Iguodala was on the Sixers for 9 seasons as the #1 option with a terrible jumper.

    Sure it’s been disappointing to see, but it’s harder to teach defense, rebounding and the ability to see the floor then teaching a jump shot. The kid ET as Sun of Man said also has a killers mentality. Although he didn’t perform particularly great in the playoffs, his devastating late drive to the hole in Game 2 to take the lead against Boston was as clutch a shot as Iggy’s free-throws against the Bulls in Round 1. I also recall a lot of fouls going uncalled against Turner that entire Boston series, which didn’t help with his stat-lines.

    Turner’s intangibles other than shooting at this point are what makes him a valuable asset to the Sixers and he’ll have plenty of time to continue to work on it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, either will Turner’s jump shot.


  15. Sloetry
    23. October 2012 at 17:50

    …and we couldn’t have got rid of Iggy and got Bynum without having Turner to pick up the mantle on D.

  16. Hank
    24. October 2012 at 09:33


    The difference between Iguodala and Turner is that Iguodala was great at making shots around the basket, while Turner hasn’t been thus far in his career. Additionally, Iguodala could take and make 3 pointers and Turner just doesn’t have that range yet. These differences show in their true shooting percentage. Through Iguodala’s first 9 seasons, his worst true shooting performance (.530) was still significantly better than Turner’s best true shooting performance (.484). He also did this at a higher volume.

  17. Hank
    24. October 2012 at 09:43

    I will say, though, that I agree with a number of Jeff’s points. It should be easier for Evan to develop a consistent mid range J than it would be to develop his nose for the ball, court vision, and defensive abilities. Also, I think that while his mid range game is lack of a J is currently keeping him from being a productive offensive player, if he finds a way to consistently knock down shots he should instantly become a weapon on offense.

  18. freezer
    24. October 2012 at 12:48

    I think you misread my post or something because we both made the same point, that turner can contribute this season even if hes not the scorer we want him to be. Hank i see the same things you do, i think hes pressing right now, probably feels like hes losing money after every bad game.
    I agree with sun of man to, because turner consistently been written off at some point on every level of basketball. I think if you look at his scouting reports from his frosh year in college he wasnt that highly rated, he wasnt highly recruited yet he made himself the best player in college basketball. I dont think hes going to turn into lebron or anything but he could def turn into a top 10 sf in fact id say its likely at this point.

  19. Steve Toll
    24. October 2012 at 14:00

    Quick Preseason Analysis: Wright had a superior preseason to SwaggyP, Holiday seems to be the same player, Turner is still terrible, Thad is still a SF, Lavoy and Hawes need to do a better job putting the ball in the hoop, Spencer needs to grow that mullet out, Maalik should play, Jrich should be ~average.

  20. Jeff McMenamin
    24. October 2012 at 17:50

    Typical Steve Toll analysis…Lol.

  21. Steve Toll
    24. October 2012 at 22:56

    Dorell had a higher 2pt %, 3pt %, rebounds, blocks, steals, assists and less turnovers on a per game basis. He was also better on Defense.

    Holiday looked like the same guy as the last few seasons.

    Your boy, ET, was more atrocious than usual.

    Thad is still a SF and fighting the good fight

    Lavoy and Hawes need to score more efficiently, it will be interesting to see if Hawes can hit the occasional 3 for the team. 45% and 47% from 2 with a couple foul shots per game will not get it done.

    Hawes was a great facilitator or Lavoy did play good D in other news.

    Hawes should let the hair grow, it can’t get worse.

    Maalik should play and JRich should be average

    It’s all pretty straightforward, here is a look at the preseason totals, which clearly backup everything I have said :

  22. Hank
    25. October 2012 at 15:47


    How do those stats back up that Thad is so obviously a SF? He can’t handle the ball, and his shooting stats absolutely scream PF. His size and bulk are the only attributes that would make him a SF.

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