The play of Sammy Dalembert and Thad Young has carried the Sixers to their past two wins. It's as simple as that. Thad has taken over the role of lead scorer, Sammy has embraced the role of intimidating center. The question you have to ask is why now?
I'm not sure if you can really point your finger at any one thing, but I'm going to give it a shot anyway.
Think back to the long break the Sixers had leading into the Memphis game. There were no fewer than five stories written by the beat writers on Thad's work with shooting coach Bruce Kreutzer. Since then, Thad has averaged 24 points per game on 54.8% shooting, 38.5% from three. He's looked like a different player out there, oozing confidence.
With Sammy, something I pointed out a few weeks back struck me this week. When Sam was at his best, he was working very closely with Moses Malone. I remember seeing them pounding each other in the low post prior to games. Recently, we've heard about Sammy jacking up threes with Kareem Rush during the pregame. We've seen him joking around with teammates and opponents. On the court, we've seen a guy making a ton of mental mistakes and stupid quotes to the press afterwards.
So what changed a couple of games ago? Well, Moses was back in the building. Tom Moore had a quote from Moses the other day: "Get mean - just get mean," he said to Sammy. Well, that's exactly what Sammy has done over the past two games.
Moses is a part-time assistant coach with the team, and it sure seems like he's a guy Sammy really respects.
So here's the question. If this shooting coach can give Thad confidence, and Moses can give Dalembert focus, why not have them around more? This isn't really anecdotal evidence. Sammy was a much better player when he was working with Moses on a daily basis. Thad came out of the gates shooting the lights out this season, after spending the summer working with his shooting coach. Bring these guys on full time, if you can. In Thad, you're dealing with a really young kid who may need a constant reminder to keep his feet set. Someone who will look at game tape and grade his pre-shot preparation and construct drills to reinforce certain aspects of his shot.
We're all way too familiar with Dalembert's fragile psyche. Maybe having a guy in his ear day in, day out will keep his focus on the things that matter and not his touches on offense. It's worth a shot, right?