The NBA award season continued as Chicago Bulls forward Thaddeus Young was declared the winner of the 2020-21 NBA Hustle Award, according to NBA.com. The award honors the player that provides energy and effort plays to help their team that does not show up in the box scores such as deflections, loose balls recovered, charges drawn, screen assists, contested shots, and box-outs.
After finishing in the top nine each season since the awards’ 2016-17 season debut, Young captured the award in his 14th NBA season.
Young had season averages of 12.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, while posting career-high in assists (4.3) and shooting percentage (55.9%).
The top five finalists of the award were Thaddeus Young, Ben Simmons (Philadelphia), Jae’Sean Tate (Houston) Draymond Green (Golden State) and Jrue Holiday (Milwaukee).
Thaddeus led the League in charges drawn and offensive loose balls recovered based on a per-minute basis. The stats are measured this way to compare the players on various amounts of allotted playing time. Based on Young’s 24.3 minutes per game this season, despite not having the same opportunities as other players with more minutes, his impact was felt maybe even more. He was one of only 12 players to average at least 15 points, eight rebounds, and five assists per 36 minutes.
Young’s on-court/off-court differential showed the Bulls were 10 points per 100 possessions better with Young on the court than when he was off. That ranked as the highest differential of all Chicago players that logged at least 500 minutes this past season. With Young suiting up, the team’s net rating was plus-4.1 net rating in 1,652 minutes, and without him, it was at its worst: minus-5.9 net rating in 1,824 minutes).
With the combination of what could be seen seen in the box scores with scoring, rebounding, playmaking and defense along with his hustle stats, the impact for the Bulls this season shows why he won this end-of-season recognition.