Sam Young has found a home again.
At least for now, that is.
The Indiana Pacers re-signed Young last month three weeks after releasing him. The move was made after Young injured his left ankle during a practice in January. With Young’s contract on the verge of being guaranteed, Indiana made the tough decision to part ways.
But it didn’t last long -- head coach Frank Vogel made sure it didn’t.
Vogel said he told the Pacers front office that he was not on board with releasing Young if it meant they wouldn’t bring him back.
“Really excited” Vogel said of Young’s return. “As soon as we got him back healthy, we signed him, got him right back in the rotation.”
Young, who last season was traded to the Sixers from Memphis for the rights to forward Ricky Sánchez, is helping the Pacers in the area they are best -- defense.
The Pacers have one of NBA’s best defenses statistically. Indiana is second in the league in points allowed, averaging 90.3, holding their opponents to an NBA-best 42.1 percent shooting (32.5 percent three-point shooting), and first in rebounding, averaging 45.4 per game.
Vogel admired Young’s attitude with defense, which is one reason why he’s averaging 15.5 minutes per game. That’s more playing time than Young has seen since 2010-11, his sophomore season with the Grizzles.
“He shows it,” Young said of Vogel’s confidence in him. “When a coach consistently tells you that what you bring to the table is needed on the team, that’s pretty much everything you need.”
You won’t see Young light up the scoreboard -- most games his name probably wont be mentioned at all (unless he utilizes that highly effective pump fake, which Young said he’s never worked on). However, the University of Pittsburgh product does his damage quietly.
“He’s just a winning player” Vogel said, “that does a lot of little things. Not a guy that’s going to go out and put up 20 points a game, obviously, but make all the hustle plays.”
Ex-Sixer Sam Young fitting in with Pacers
CSN Philly | Feb 7