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Pacers Links: Thaddeus Young named Eastern Conference Player of the Week

The NBA recognized the Pacers hard-working forward for doing more than just the dirty work in the Pacers four wins last week.

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NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Indiana Pacers Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Pacers had a great week, reeling off four wins including a pair against quality Eastern Conference foes that now has them sitting in third place, just two games behind Toronto in the top spot. Thaddeus Young played a huge role all week, but really raised his game in the wins over Milwaukee and Philly and the league took notice.

Young was named NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week and the honor is well deserved. Sure Thad averaged 18.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists over the four-game stretch. But giving himself up physically to guard Giannis Antetokounmpo and Ben Simmons, and in doing so altering the game with his defense, is why he should be honored.

He was so good in those games, Player of the Month should be in play. Consider Antetokounmpo was never able to get rolling to make easy buckets which kept the Bucks staggering all night. Giannis is averaging over 26 points per game, but scored just 12 points on six shot attempts when Thad was through with him. In his next game against Cleveland with Thad nowhere in sight, Giannis put up 44 points and 14 rebounds.

The best thing is that Thad will be far more focused about playing the Cavs and Raptors over the next two days than he will about winning this award.

This is Young’s second PoW award, first earning it in January 2014 while playing with the Sixers. Victor Oladipo won the award for the week of Nov. 5 earlier this season. In the Western Conference, James Harden won the award this week, as well.

Enjoy some Thad highlights and the links:

Oladipo Singing a New Tune for Pacers | Indiana Pacers

Game Rewind: Pacers 110, Knicks 99 | Indiana Pacers

Postgame: Coach McMillan Press Conference - Dec. 16, 2018 | Indiana Pacers

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room - Dec. 16, 2018 | Indiana Pacers

New York Knicks: Why the Knicks have begun playing zone defense

Pacers tally 7th win in a row, knock off Knicks

Pacers’ win streak should push them into the national conversation — but don’t count on it – The Athletic

Knicks lose to Pacers: Shooting is downright embarrassing - NY Post

Pacers 110, Knicks 99: ‘At least we get Phoenix at home tomorrow’ - Posting and Toasting

Knicks fall on road to Pacers, 110-99 | Newsday

Grades: Indiana Pacers defeat Knicks in solid team performance

NBA Power Rankings Week 10 -- The Nuggets are climbing, but the hottest team is in the East

The Athletic’s NBA Power Rankings: Welcome the Celtics back to prominence – The Athletic

An Early Primer for NBA Trade Season - The Ringer

Power Rankings, Week 10: Three big wins help Nuggets rise to No. 1 |

Kelly Krauskopf on Being Named Assistant GM of the Pacers | Indiana Pacers