If you thought things were ugly in Philadelphia - and they have been, despite the Sixers three-game winning streak - they’re about to get a whole lot uglier. In their game against the Magic on Monday, a 79-61 win that was as brutal to watch as the score suggests, the Sixers lost Thad Young. They’ll be without perhaps their most irreplaceable player for at least three weeks after the power forward suffered what is being called a grade one hamstring strain. Let’s take a look at how the injury is going to affect this already-depleted roster.
Young has statistically been the Sixers’ best overall player this season. His 4.2 nERD rating is by far the highest on the team, his win shares per 48 minutes dwarf the man next in line, and his Player Efficiency Rating (PER) is just behind Jrue Holiday.
Without him on the court, the Sixers’ efficiency goes off a cliff. Their offensive rating drops by 9.3 points per 100 possessions with Thad on the bench, and their opponents’ jumps up by 3.3 points. The Sixers’ effective field goal percentage also drops by about 5.5 points. The only place where the Sixers see any kind of jump with Young off the court is in rebounding, where his lack of height seems to have a negative impact.
Young’s injury likely means more playing time for two players: Lavoy Allen and rookie Arnett Moultrie. Allen is already a regular in the rotation, playing 22.5 minutes per game. His per-36 numbers aren’t anything noteworthy, though, at just 10.3 points and 8.4 rebounds. The Sixers will see the benefit of having their best offensive rebounder in the rotation on floor for longer stretches, provided he can maintain his level of production.
Moutlrie, having played just 83 minutes on the season, remains an unproven commodity. The main reason Doug Collins has kept him glued to the bench is, fairly obviously, his lack of understanding on offense. There really isn’t a way to sugarcoat it, the guy just doesn’t seem to know where to go on that end of the floor. He’s posted a 35.3 effective field goal percentage in his limited court time, by far the lowest of anyone on the roster.
There is potential for Moultrie to be an effective player through his tenacious offensive rebounding. In his very small sample size, he’s been far and away the Sixers’ best player on the offensive glass, with a 16.0 offensive rebounding percentage. While he’s obviously struggled to convert those extra possessions into points, the coaching staff and front office have to hope that the first-round pick will improve on that with more experience.