The Nets trailed the Dallas Mavericks by three points with less than 12 seconds remaining. All hopes looked lost for a team that ranks dead last in the league for three-pointers made.
Then out of nowhere, Thaddeus Young had the ball and stepped behind the three-point line and fired away. Young had only made one three this season prior to the game versus Dallas. Like usual, nobody expected the moment to end in triumph for the Brooklyn Nets.
But Thad had other things in mind.
When the moment came to be and instinct was forced into place, Young forgot about his inefficiency from deep and nailed the game-tying three. The Brooklyn crowd jumped off their feet and drowned out the sound of the buzzer as time expired. In that moment, Thaddeus Young was the hero for the Nets and stepped up when things mattered most.
Young's leadership on the court this season has been lost amidst the smoke of Brooklyn's putrid season.
Along with the heroics, it was just another day at the office for Thad Young, who notched his 15th double-double of the season with 29 points, 10 rebounds and four steals in the OT loss against the Mavericks.
Young's 15 double-doubles rank him fourth in the NBA in that category, placing him in the company of Anthony Davis & Russell Westbrook, both whom are just a touch ahead of Young for double-doubles thus far.
He's noticeably stronger and more lean this season after receiving his big payday from the Nets. However, what has especially propelled Young is his unorthodox style of play. The 6'8" southpaw doesn't rely on his jumper, but rather his strength inside the paint with a variety of moves under the hoop thanks to his lefty release.
Following a 26-point, 10-rebound performance against the defending champs, Draymond Green admitted to Sarah Kustok in a post-game interview, "Thad Young killed me in the first half." Young torched Green all game and it was only a hint of what his M.O. would be this season.
So what exactly has Young been doing differently this season in becoming a force against bigger defenders?
"People haven't noticed, but I've been using a power dribble to get my balance and get up over guys," Young said after the 119-118 OT loss versus the Mavericks. "I take my power dribble and I'm going into guys to push them off their path towards me. So even if I do miss the shot, I can get back up and get the rebound and tip it in."
This coincides with the unorthodox style of play he uses. As a strong lefty, Young bodies players down low and puts up a sneaky lefty hook/layup. Not to mention, most players in the league are right-handed, so in order for them to block Young, they'd have to go across his body without fouling him.
Young is having arguably the best season of his career. He's averaging 16 points per game and a career-best, by far, nine rebounds. He's shooting close to 52 percent and has been playing extremely gritty on the defensive end with close to two steals per game. He's become an all-around weapon for Brooklyn with the exception of his three-point ball.
Thad's stellar season hasn't been highlighted due to Brooklyn's poor record, but during a season when people say ‘all is lost' or ‘there's nobody fun to watch,' I suggest you keep a close eye on Thaddeus Young. He's come a long way to get where he's at today and hopefully one day, he'll be recognized and rewarded with a good Brooklyn Nets team.
Despite the circumstances, Young sees the light in the Nets season and continues to stay optimistic.
"If we keep playing like we've been playing, we're going to win more games."