I've never been the biggest Thaddeus Young fan. Actually, I take that back. I was the biggest Thaddeus Young fan coming out of Georgia Tech because that Georgia Tech team was my 2007 college equivalent of this year's Denver Nuggets (soft spots galore for Javaris Crittenton, Anthony Morrow, and Lewis Clinch). I was a staunch Thad supporter with the 12th pick over the likes of FSU's seasoned Al Thornton that most fans seemed to want.

But over the years, Thad hadn't gotten statistically better. He's gotten stronger. He's gotten smarter. He's just as polite and endearing as he's always been, maybe even moreso, but he hadn't improved enough for me to justify the Sixers paying him $42 million over 5 years. This year was supposed to be where his rebounding deficiencies were masked by Andrew Bynum and his slashing ability and knack for offensive rebounding would prove highly useful.

Though Bynum has played as many minutes for the Sixers as I have, Thad has stepped up his defensive rebounding game in his absence. His previous DRR career high (per B-R) was 15.2% two seasons ago -- he's up to 18.0% this year. I can't express how average to below-average that is. But compared to his old-fish-smell percentages of years past, I'll happily take that.