Originally posted on Around the Arc  |  Last updated 10/19/12
The 76ers have had a pretty solid start to the 2012 preseason, especially considering they are playing without their prized offseason pickup, Andrew Bynum. The thinking goes that the team will only improve once Andrew hits the hardwood, so the team's 3-1 start to this preseason sans-Bynum is pretty promising. The Sixers have bested Eastern Conference goes Boston, Cleveland, and Orlando, with their only loss coming in overtime in Atlantic City to the Brooklyn Nets. One of the brightest points for the 7-6 this preseason has been the play of the newly-acquired Nick Young, 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 haven't had in recent memory.  Through four games this preseason Nick has been putting up an impressive 19 points per in slightly under twenty eight minutes a game. This output would have been more than enough to lead the team in scoring last season; not bad for a dude that isn't playing starter minutes. Although if you recall, the Sixers' leading scorer last season, Lou Williams, was in a reserve as well, so there is plenty of potential for Nick to continue to produce. Even more impressive than Nick's overall output this preseason is the efficiency with which he's scoring. The common conception of NY is that he is a high volume shooter; sure he can score points in bunches, but 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 short NBA stint, very little of this cavalier style of play has been seen thus far in Philly.  Instead, Nick has been getting his almost twenty points per by shooting an impressive 51% from the field, topped off with an unconscious 57 percent from beyond the arc, all representing a vast improvement over previous career averages. Career averages of 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. After facing some of the League's tougher defenders and battling through off nights, Nick's numbers are sure to level off. However, once he enters the lineup, Andrew Bynum'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. Technorati Tags: Philadelphia 76ers,Nick Young,NBA,Andrew Bynum,Lou Williams.
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