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Young assumes a leadership role for Sixers

When Brett Brown took over as the 76ers coach, he knew what kind of offensive production he could expect from Thaddeus Young, who averaged 14.8 points last year. Brown has been pleasantly surprised by Young's leadership as well.

Sixers forward Thaddeus Young. (H. Rumph Jr/AP)
Sixers forward Thaddeus Young. (H. Rumph Jr/AP)Read more

When Brett Brown took over as the 76ers coach, he knew what kind of offensive production he could expect from Thaddeus Young, who averaged 14.8 points last year. Brown has been pleasantly surprised by Young's leadership as well.

Young turned just 25 in June, but he is entering his seventh NBA season, and on this Sixers team that qualifies him as a graybeard.

The book on Young was that he was athletic, a hard worker, and a team player. But leadership was not mentioned. Brown is finding out otherwise.

"He has been far more vocal and far more instructional with the young guys," Brown said after Sunday's lengthy practice at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Brown said Young has been especially helpful in giving scouting reports on other players.

"He always has something to say positive and instructional to the young guys and has been a real good leader," Brown said.

Young was not outspoken in the past, but he understands that with this young team he has to become more vocal, as do Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes.

"We have a lot of young guys, and they are paying attention and listening to what me and Spence and Evan say and trying to get better," Young said.

Young is leading by example. Though preseason statistics can be misleading, Young is averaging 15.3 points in 30.3 minutes and shooting 20 for 33 (60.6 percent) from the field. Even more significant, Young has hit 3 of 7 three-pointers. The last two seasons combined, he shot just 2 for 12 from beyond the arc.

Young said he is trying to provide more offense within a team concept.

"With all the young guys we have, we are going to need some direction and somebody to go out there and lead the troops," Young said. "I am definitely looking to pretty much find my way, find different shot opportunities and different ways to get to the basket and many ways to score."

One thing that might take some getting used to is being looked on as a grizzled veteran by his teammates.

"It's a lot different," Young said with a laugh. "In the past I was the one looking up to the veterans, and now I am one of the more experienced players and I am trying to help out any way I can."

Free throws

The Sixers (2-1) are coming off Friday's 97-85 preseason win over the Boston Celtics at the University of Delaware. They host the Brooklyn Nets on Monday at the Wells Fargo Center. . . . Rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams has 16 assists and just one turnover. "I am trying to work on taking care of the ball and making smart plays," Carter-Williams said.

His total is more impressive considering that the Sixers have committed 71 turnovers in the three games. Brown said the staff hasn't talked to Carter-Williams about the importance of taking care of the ball.

"We have really avoided it and he has just done it himself," Brown said.