OAKLAND, Calif. - One thing Thaddeus Young has believed about Dorell Wright ever since the 76ers traded for him is that Wright is at his best when he's not being bashful about one of the things he does best on the basketball court - shooting the ball.
"I always tell him when he checks into the game to just hoop," Young said of Wright, who did just that Wednesday, when he scored a season-high 28 points in the Sixers' surprising 99-89 win over Memphis. "Don't worry about turnovers if you get them; don't worry about bad plays, just play. Just hoop."
And, of course, there's one more thing
"Ha," Young added with a laugh. "Take that three."
Wright seems to have taken all of this to heart. Against the Grizzlies, he continued his hot shooting, especially from beyond the three-point line, where he connected on 5 of 8.
Wright, who started in place of Jason Richardson, who was out with a lower-back strain, has been particularly hot from long range. Over the last five games, Wright has made 18 of 37 from behind the three-point line (48.6 percent). In that same stretch, he has averaged almost 18 points a game.
It's quite a departure from his season averages of 37.7 percent on threes and his 8.7 points per game.
However, it's also closer to the numbers that the Sixers had in mind when they acquired Wright from Golden State (19-10), Friday's surprising opponent, in a three-team deal that cost the Sixers only the rights to Edin Bavcic.
In the first of two seasons with the Warriors, Wright broke out, averaging a career-best 16.4 points and leading the league in made three-point shots (194).
That was under coach Keith Smart, who was replaced at the start of last season by Marc Jackson. Wright's numbers dipped in his second season with the Warriors, and this past summer the eight-year vet was dealt to the Sixers.
There are no hard feelings.
"It was a different style of play, and sometimes that's just how it is," Wright said of playing for Jackson. "Marc's system wasn't the same as Coach Smart's, but he still gave me the opportunity to come in and start. I struggled a little bit, but it's part of the game. I moved on now, so that's behind me. I had two great years in Golden State and now I'm looking forward to going back."