Thaddeus Young is earning trust with his basketball brain

Imman Adan and Asad Alvi discuss the influence of Thaddeus Young on his inexperienced Raptors teammates and why he always makes an impact on the floor. Listen to the full episode on our 'Raptors Over Everything' podcast or watch on our YouTube.

Video Transcript

IMMAN ADAN: Hi, everyone. And welcome to another episode brought to you by Yahoo Sports Canada. Don't forget to like, share, subscribe, and comment. My name is Imman. And I am joined by Asad.

Thaddeus Young who has been one of my favorite players to watch-- just point blank, period-- over the last few games. Heaven sent, truly. You compared him to Marc Gasol. I often compare him to Kyle Lowry, although he does not get enough charges.

He should be getting way more. It's a gripe that I have. He had one today that I thought was a charge but it was called a blocking foul, which was absolutely nonsensical. What are your thoughts on Scott-- on Thaddeus Young who's entered the starting lineup with these--

ASAD ALVI: Yeah. Well, with Marc Gasol or Kyle Lowry, they're both kind of the same type of player. It's someone who is incredibly smart, knows how to play the game of basketball, and is thinking seven moves ahead, but no longer has maybe the physical capabilities to do those things. So he is basically just kind of mind-warping these young guys into the right-- right spots to get him buckets.

So it's like, hey, yeah, Jeff Dowtin, make that back cut. I'm throwing you the ball. Hey, Juancho Hernangomez, please keep running this route. I'm just going to force the ball to you. And then you can just make the next pass over.

You constantly see Thaddeus Young directing where the next pass needs to go. He's pointing to where the ball needs to go. You see him just flying in for rebounds. Really, doing all of the things outside of scoring that he can do to kind of keep this young team in line and winning games.

Like, a lot of times people talk about veteran presence. Shout-out Luis Scola-- veteran presence. But like, this is what it is. Like, you need to have a vet who knows how to play the game of basketball, knows how to balance the floor, and knows how to get the ball going from side to side.

And he simplifies the game for a lot of people where now you don't have to think as much, right? Right now you see Scottie Barnes kind of having to think on-ball constantly. Like, what do I do? Do I attack? Do I go right? Do I go left? Do I pull up for a jumper?

It's like, no, give me the ball. Here, I'll make that initial move. I'll bring everyone in and then dump it off to you. And now you can make the second play, or make the third play, whatever it might be, right? So--

And also, one of the things I think that Thad Young brings a benefit to is one of the things that the Raptors have been sorely missing since Pascal Siakam went down-- and now especially as Fred VanVleet went down-- is OG Anunoby has been awesome. Like, whether or not his efficiency-- he didn't have his touch in this Detroit game.

But he has been awesome in terms of getting to the spots that he needs to get to, playing great defense, and, you know, getting buckets, and staying aggressive. But one of the things that you need is when you're the main guy, when you're that-- like, the main scoring option is you need to also have somebody who can get you the ball in some easy spots.

And Thad Young has done a great job of just getting OG Anunoby a couple of easy looks a quarter, which is something that nobody else on the team has really been able to do outside of, like, a Fred VanVleet or a Pascal Siakam. It's one of the things that, you know, you task Scottie Barnes with. But he's been having trouble doing that with so much attention on him and so little spacing.

So like, Thad Young's been amazing. We've always kind of known that he plays really well. He was always a really good addition to the starters in every single lineup. And now you're getting to see him in extended minutes-- so him kind of work off that rust.

And hopefully this means that he'll have a large role moving forward. It seems like Nick Nurse really trusts him. And Otto Porter together as a unit, they also seem to play really well together as a unit. Both of them have their, you know, quirks.

Otto Porter, great three-point shooter, will randomly airball at three once a game. And Thad Young who is, you know, a great passer and a great decision-maker will sometimes just misfire and throw a pass to a guy who was, like, covered by two guys in transition. But you know it happens. Kyle Lowry, the best of them also, would randomly--

IMMAN ADAN: Nope. Never saw it. Never saw anything bad.

ASAD ALVI: --fell through George Hill's legs in the middle of a play.

IMMAN ADAN: That is a winning play.

ASAD ALVI: You know, you want-- you want your-- you want, you know, these type of creative-- guys who are creative with the ball to be a little bit creative with them. And it's great that Thad Young is getting the ball in his hands to be able to use his skills-- which is his brain. He has a giant brain, giant basketball brain. And you want him to be in positions to be able to use it and make the game easier for the people around him.

IMMAN ADAN: So I mean, I'm agreeing with you on that. I just have to defend Kyle Lowry really quickly. Because I read this article recently about the Boston Celtics new offense that is taking the League by storm which is letting the ball roll before your point guard picks it up. Which for Raptor fans, we know that that's something that Kyle Lowry does.

It's something that point guards have done for generations. But here's why it's great. It buys your team some extra time, right? So the game clock is moving but the shot clock is not moving, because your offensive possession has not started if nobody on your team has touched the ball.

Right. Kyle Lowry going through George Hill's legs-- it was a foul. It's always going to get called a foul. Except they had to review it. People had to talk about it. People had to figure out what was going on.

And what did that do? That bought an extra timeout. I'm just saying great point guards look for the added advantage to earn their team either an extra possession, some more time, or an additional timeout.

So in my opinion, what Kyle Lowry did was not just innovative. It was the best thing I've ever seen. So anyway, let's move forward. I just had to defend Kyle Lowry really quickly.