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Sharpshooting trio hitting mark; Collins names captains

by Max Rappaport, Sixers.com
Posted: October 26, 2013

At the conclusion of the 2011-12 season, Sixers head coach Doug Collins stresses his desire to add perimeter shooting to his roster during the offseason. president Rod Thorn, general managerTony DiLeo, and the rest of the Sixers' brain trust went above and beyond, adding three of the league's most-dangerous sharpshooters – forward Dorell Wright, swingman Jason Richardson, and guard Nick Young.

The former two sit second and third in three-pointers made over the past two seasons, respectively; Wright's made 299 made and Richardson's made 291.

Despite this being the first time they have played alongside one another, the two deadeye marksmen have been familiar with one another for a while now.

“I told Jason that I really appreciate him,” said Wright during camp. “(In 2010-11), when I led the league in three-pointers made (with 194), he finished second (with 189). Each and every game, if I made seven threes, he’d make six. If I made five, he’d make seven, so I was always keeping a close eye on what he was doing. He made me better.”

Now the two have taken their friendly rivalry to the next level, pushing one another every day in practice, much to the delight of head coach Doug Collins.

“Both Jason and Dorell have very high basketball IQs,” said Collins. “They know how to space the floor, how to feed the post, where to be.

“(In terms of Dorell), every time he shoots the ball, I think it’s going in.”

Indeed, Wright’s perimeter shot was so automatic when the team arrived for training camp that his teammates began to refer to his three-point attempts as “layups.”

“I’ve been working on my shot a lot, so every time I take one, I try to take it with a lot of confidence,” said the lengthy forward. “My job is to knock them down.”

In addition to Wright and Richardson, the Sixers added premier bench scorer Nick Young to help replace the instant offense once provided by former-Sixer, and current-Hawk, Lou Williams. Young, a 6-7 guard, is no slouch from beyond the arc, himself, hitting the 28th most threes in the league over the past two seasons – just ahead of Manu Ginobili, Jameer Nelson, and Kobe Bryant.

“I’m trying to pick my spots out there, see where I’m going to be at, which way Jrue (Holiday) comes off screens to find me (so I can hit) threes,” he said.

In the preseason, the trio has shown flashes of the dynamic offensive potential they’ll provide their new team. Each of the three finished in the top 20 in the league in threes made during exhibition play. Dorell Wright hit 12 threes in six games (best for 13th in the league), while Jason Richardson and Nick Young both knocked down 11 (tying them for 20th best). Between them, they shot an incredible 43.0% from downtown. They were also the league's only trio of teammates to finish in the top 20.

Collins Name Captains

Head coach Doug Collins revealed his three captains for the 2012-13 season, following practice Thursday. They'll be forward Thaddeus Young, swingman Jason Richardson, and guard Jrue Holiday. 

Young, the team’s longest-tenured member, is well-respected by his teammates, both for his energetic play on the court and his leadership and support off it.

Richardson is an 11-year NBA veteran and has been praised by Coach Collins for the example he sets for the team’s younger members.

Jrue Holiday is the youngest of the team’s newly appointed captains. Collins believes this season will be one in which the 22-year-old makes the largest strides of his career both as a player and as a professional.

“His preparation in the locker room before games has to be different now,” he said. “Jrue becomes a symbol of what we’re doing now. It’s added responsibility, and he’s ready for it.”

Posted: 8:37 PM, October 25, 2012