Player Expectations: Trae Young

Trae Young is coming off of an incredible rookie season. He came in 2nd for Rookie of the Year after averaging 19.1 points, 8.1 assists, and 3.7 rebounds per game. Trae has worked on his game a lot this offseason. He constantly played in pick up games and played in other leagues such as the Drew League.

Obviously, Young will be our starting point guard for the 2019-20 season. Trae will continue to be a great floor general and elusive play maker on the offensive end. He has also bulked up a little over the summer, adding over 15 pounds of muscle. Hopefully this can help improve his defensive game, as he was one of the worst rated defenders last year. Although Trae is sometimes a defensive liability, his offensive game more than makes up for that. Trae Young is definitely expected to be the leader of this young (no pun intended) team.

I expect Trae to improve upon his numbers from last year. I see him averaging about 23 points, 11 assists, and 4 rebounds per game. Young will also be top 3 in the league, if not number 1, in assists. With Westbrook and Harden being on the same team, I expect their assist numbers to decline.

If Trae can play up to these expectations, he could possibly make the All-NBA’s Third team. He will also make the NBA All-Star team for his first time. Trae will be the leader of this team for years to come. Hopefully he’ll lead us into many deep playoff runs and even championship runs.

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Trae Young Dominates In Drew League Debut

Atlanta’s very own Trae Young and John Collins were invited to play in the Drew League in Los Angeles. Trae accepted the invite and showed up to play. Trae would play for the team BB4L. They matched up against Public Enemy, led by the Clippers’ Montrez Harrell and the reigning two time MVP of the Drew League, Frank “Nitty” Sessions.

Trae treated this game like a pickup game in a gym. He was dribbling between defenders’ legs, pulling from deep, and dropping insane dimes left and right. Trae finished the game with 31 points, 12 assists, 8 rebounds, and an incredible highlight reel of plays. Trae’s team did end up losing 102-95, but that is because of Frank Nitty’s 27 points and Montrez Harrell’s monstrous game with 46 points.

Playing in the Drew League could benefit Trae for this upcoming season. Even though it’s no where near NBA competition, it is still tough competition nonetheless. Playing like he did in his debut could build his confidence heading into the 2019/20 season. This would be much like the Rising Stars game last season. It allowed him to build confidence and lead to his explosion in the second half of the year. This could be a sign of good things to come for Trae.

Top 10 Rookie Seasons In Atlanta Hawks History

With all of the build up leading to this year’s NBA draft, I decided to put together my list of the best rookie seasons the Hawks franchise has ever seen. The Hawks have drafted many legends and hopefully, future legends.

#10 Josh Smith

Josh Smith was selected by Atlanta in the 1st round of the 2004 NBA Draft with the 17th overall pick. Smith was drafted straight out of Oak Hill Academy, a high school known for producing NBA talent. He was a 6’9″ forward who could jump out of the building. Fans loved him because of his highflying dunks and monster blocks. He was even entered into the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest during All Star Weekend in his rookie year. He scored three perfect 50s in a row to win the Slam Dunk Contest. His stat line for his rookie year consisted of 9.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game. That was enough to add him to the NBA’s All-Rookie Second Team.

#9 John Collins

The Atlanta Hawks selected John Collins, a 6’10” forward from Wake Forest, with the 19th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Just like Smith, Collins is known for his leaping ability and emphatic rim stuffers. In his rookie season, he didn’t have much of an outside game. He mainly stayed in the post or did pick and rolls with our point guard at the time, Dennis Schröder. John was named to the All-Rookie Second Team. Now, Collins has proven to be a steal in that draft, being picked five spots outside of the lottery. He will be a focal point for this team moving into the future.

#8 Stacey Augmon

Stacey Augmon was selected with the 9th overall pick in the 1991 NBA Draft by Atlanta. Augmon was a 6’8″ shooting guard/small forward. He started all 82 games for Atlanta in his rookie year. Stacey, nicknamed “The Plastic Man,” averaged 13.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.5 steals. Augmon earned his nickname due to his athletic ability. He was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team.

#7 Al Horford

The Atlanta Hawks selected Al Horford with the 3rd overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. Horford is a 6’10” Center out of the University of Florida. Horford started the majority of his games played during his rookie year. He nearly averaged a double-double. He had 10.1 points and 9.7 rebounds a game. For an undersized center, Horford held his own down low. He averaged 0.9 blocks per game and 0.7 steals per game. He was selected to the All-Rookie First Team for the NBA. Al Horford helped Atlanta continue their long stretch of playoff appearances.

#6 Lou Hudson

“Sweet” Lou Hudson was selected by the St. Louis Hawks with the 4th overall pick in the 1966 NBA Draft. All though not in Atlanta, the St. Louis Hawks are apart of the same franchise. Hudson was a 6’5″ shooting guard who averaged 18.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Lou made the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team for the 1966-67 season. Lou represented the Hawks six times in a row in the NBA All-Star Game from 1968-1974. After his rookie year, Hudson was called to serve in the U.S. military. When he came back the following season, the franchise had moved to Atlanta. He also became teammates with another Hawks legend, Pete Maravich for years.

#5 Dominique Wilkins

Dominique Wilkins, “The Human Highlight Film,” was drafted by the Utah Jazz with the 3rd overall pick in the 1982 NBA Draft. Wilkins had no interest in playing for Utah. They decided to trade Wilkins before the start of the season to Atlanta in return for John Drew, Freeman Williams, and $1 million. I think it’s pretty safe to say that Atlanta won that trade as Dominique went on to be Hall of Famer and probably the best Hawk of all time. In Wilkins’ rookie year, he averaged 17.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.0 steals. That was enough to land him on the All-Rookie First Team.

#4 John Drew

John Drew was another steal by the Atlanta Hawks on draft night. Drew selected with the 7th pick in the 2nd round of the 1974 NBA Draft. In his first professional season, he averaged 18.5 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game. Drew played power forward and small forward even though he was undersized for those positions at 6’6″. This was Drew’s only season of his career averaging over 10 rebounds a game. Drew also made the All-Rookie First Team.

#3 Pete Maravich

“Pistol” Pete Maravich was selected by Atlanta with the 3rd overall pick in the 1970 NBA Draft. Maravich is another icon in Atlanta sports. He was known for his very flashy handles and passes. He was one of the first players to use the behind the back pass. His rookie season saw averages of 23.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. Maravich, as expected, made the All-Rookie First Team. Maravich was given his famous nickname of “Pistol” because of his unique shooting form. His shot started at his hip, much like a gunman pulling his pistol from its holster. He even wore “Pistol” on the back of his uniform instead of last name.

#2 Bob Pettit

Bob Pettit was selected my the Milwaukee Hawks with the 2nd pick of the 1st round in the 1954 NBA Draft. Pettit’s rookie year was spent in Milwaukee until the team moved to St. Louis where he spent the rest of his 11-year NBA career. Pettit was an all star every single year of his career. Pettit came into the league dominating. In his rookie year, he averaged 20.4 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game. He was named Rookie of the Year and even made the All-NBA First Team! It was tough putting him at #2 on this list, but he played in the 50s and 60s when there was very little tough competition. That’s not taking anything away from him; Pettit brought this franchise their only Championship.

#1 Trae Young

One of the most recent additions to the team is nun other than rookie sensation, Trae Young. The Atlanta Hawks had the 3rd pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. They selected Luka Dončić but eventually traded him to the Dallas Mavericks who selected Trae Young with the 5th overall pick. There were many critics saying Trae would fail miserably in the NBA. They said he was too small and made poor decisions. Trae definitely proved all of the critics wrong. He finished the season averaging 19.1 points, 8.1 assists, and 3.7 rebounds per game. Trae is also in the running for Rookie of the Year against Luka Dončić and Deandre Ayton. Trae had kind of a rough start to the season. He was averaging about 16 points and 6 assists, but his shooting percentages were very poor. After the all star break, a switch seemed to be flipped. He was shooting the ball more efficiently while averaging around 25 points and 9 assists per game! Those are MVP caliber numbers. Trae proved to be a great scorer and a great playmaker. He had many high scoring games and high assist games, but no game compared to his 49 point, 16 assist outing against Chicago. Trae Young is the future of this franchise and will lead us going into the future. He has all of the potential in the world and is the best rookie the Hawks have ever seen.

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Jared Schmehl  | @SchmehlJared Twitter | @ATLSportsHQ Twitter/IG

Picture credits:

Staff, STACK. “Josh Smith on Motivation and the Importance of Academics.” STACK, 30 Sept. 2010, http://www.stack.com/a/josh-smith-on-motivation-and-his-love-of-the-game.

“Hawk Of The Week: Stacey Augmon.” Google, Google, http://www.google.com/amp/s/soaringdownsouth.com/2016/06/07/hawk-of-the-week-stacey-augmon/amp/.

“Checklist for Atlanta Hawks’ Al Horford to Be Even Better This Season.” Google, Google, http://www.google.com/amp/s/syndication.bleacherreport.com/amp/1837380-checklist-for-atlanta-hawks-al-horford-to-be-even-better-this-season.amp.html.

“Passing Of NBA Legend Lou Hudson.” The Runner Sports, 24 Jan. 2018, therunnersports.com/2014-03-28-lou-hudson/.

“ICYMI: Dominique Wilkins Talks Statue, Legacy, And What’s Next For The Hawks.” Google, Google, http://www.google.com/amp/s/atlanta.cbslocal.com/2014/09/19/icymi-dominique-wilkins-talks-statue-legacy-and-whats-next-for-the-hawks/amp/.

“Forgotten Star John Drew Ranks among Best Basketball Players from Alabama – Al.com.” Google, Google, http://www.google.com/amp/s/articles.al.com/press-register-sports/2010/07/forgotten_star_john_drew_ranks.amp.

“Hawks Honor the Legendary ‘Pistol’ Pete Maravich with Amazing Tribute.” Google, Google, http://www.google.com/amp/s/www.foxsports.com/nba/story/hawks-honor-the-legendary-pistol-pete-maravich-with-amazing-tribute-030417?amp=true.

“Jen.” St. Louis Walk of Fame, 14 Jan. 2019, stlouiswalkoffame.org/inductee/bob-pettit/.

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Tomorrow is Today: Trae Young

John+Collins+Trae+Young+Los+Angeles+Clippers+fcGjrI494epl
Hawks.com

The Hawks finally have a player the city can rally around.

I’ve probably said it before, but I’ll go ahead and admit it again. I was not a fan of the Draft night trade that saw Trae Young come to Atlanta. Admittedly, I am not a College Basketball guy. Yes the stats were nice but I didn’t think his game could translate.

I was wrong.

Fast forward a few days from the Draft, the Hawks made their Summer League debut and Trae struggled big time. By this time however, I had actually watched tape and noticed something special. This guy was a passing wizard.

The whispers of “bust”, “not good” etc grew to shouts from fans and the media as Trae continued to struggle in Utah.

After a rough outing in Utah, the now famous phrase “Keep that same energy” was derived. Young would pick things up a bit in Vegas but the damage was done. All the Twitter GMs and ESPN/Bleacher reports had labeled him a bust.

Fast forward to Preseason and the glimpses of confidence and chemistry with John Collins was evident before John went down.

In just his third career game, Young announced himself to the NBA world. With the Hawks suffering back to back blowouts to start the season, Trae put the team on his back in Cleveland dropping 35 Points leading the Hawks to win number one.

A few nights later, the Hawks would welcome Luka and the Mavs to town. For three quarters it looked like Atlanta had made a terrible mistake, but Trae would finish strong again willing the team to victory.

November would bring rookie struggles. During a putrid stretch,  Young couldn’t buy a basket. Trae recorded a 16 game stretch of 35% shooting from the floor and a sour 20% from three. But through it all, his ability to drive to the hole, get fouled and find the open man was still at a high level. He didn’t let his shooting define him. During that stretch he also still averaged 14 PPG and 8 APG which for a rookie Point Guard in the NBA is very respectable.

This now famous postgame quote from Austin Rivers was very telling. After Washington defeated Atlanta in a game where Trae struggled Rivers was asked about the rookie. He said “He’s 23 percent but I treat him like Steph or Dame”.

The lack of talent on the Hawks also handicapped Trae early on. Often times it appeared he was too fast for the rest of the team or they wouldn’t be ready for his passes. Countless times Trae would set his man up perfectly for a wide open three only for it to be missed.

At a time where many young players may have lost their confidence or will to shoot, Trae kept pushing. He did however reduce his attempts for a while.

Since January 4th, Trae Young has scored in double figures in every single game except for a cold night in Chicago where he still had a huge impact with 12 Assists. It was also one of the only blowout victories for Atlanta this season. While his January numbers were very good, it was only an appetizer for what was about to come.

23.3 PPG  | 41% FG | 3.2-7.3 3PM-3PA 43.7% | 4.3 RPG | 9.3 APG 

Those aren’t Steph Curry’s numbers. Those are Trae Young’s number during the month of February. These are elite numbers any way you spin it. And for the people who say “well, the Hawks suck”, actually the Hawks have been playing solid ball since December. At one point Atlanta was 6-23. Since they’re 15-19. That’s borderline playoff worthy in the East if extrapolated across the season.

The chemistry Young has displayed with his teammates, especially John Collins, is impressive for a player who can’t even buy his own alcohol. The league and media is taking notice.

For months, any time Luka Doncic did anything it would be plastered everywhere. Even when Trae started his hot streak, those outlets were silent. Trae noticed. That’s a big source of his motivation.

During All Start Weekend in Charlotte, the dynamic duo of Trae and John were featured in the Rising Stars game. While Young didn’t start the game, he surely finished. He dazzled with 25 Points and 10 Assists.

He was also robbed of MVP.

Trae finished runner up in the Skill’s Competition which included defeating our good friend Luka Doncic.

I have a sneaky suspicion that we’ll see Trae heavily involved with All Star Weekend for some time to come.

ATLSPORTS
ATLSportsHQ

I think it’s fair to say being around all the stars motivated Trae.

Since the All Star Break (5 Games)

34.8 PPG

4.4 RPG

10.4 APG

47% FG

4.6-9.4 3PM-3PA 49%

This includes out-dueling reigning MVP James Harden Monday night and going absolutely nuclear Friday night against Chicago.

This week has seen Trae join some exclusive company while breaking numerous Hawk and Rookie records.

  • 2nd player ever with 49 Points and 16+ Assists in a single game (James Harden)
  • Three highest Rookie point totals this season (36,36,49)
  • Third Rookie ever to compile 40 Points and 10 Assists in a game (MJ, LeBron)
  • Fourth Rookie since the merger to have 35+ Points in 3 straight games
  • First Rookie ever with 45 Points and 15 Assists in a game
  • Most points in Hawks Rookie history
  • Most points by a Hawk since 2001-02
  • Scored or assisted on 86 Points. Most by a Rookie in NBA history

Relive all the action with that mini-movie from the NBA.

While it may be too late to change enough minds to win Rookie of the Year, the conversation has at least been re-opened.

What will Trae Young do next?

As a Hawks season ticket member, I am at most games. Perhaps the most incredible part of this season has been being able to see, hear and feel the energy increase in StateFarm Arena almost nightly. The last few games have brought back memories of those 60 win team crowds.

The excitement is back. For the first time in a while, I’m anxious leading into each game because I don’t know what will happen next! The league will take notice too. Having only one National TV game this year, I’d be willing to bet that we’ll see at least eight next year.

As Trae Young, John Collins and the rest of the team continue to grow and develop we will see the Hawks depart from the basement of the attendance ranks.

IMG_61991
Trae Young (@ATLHawks)

This summer, the Hawks will probably have two lottery picks. Their own, which could potentially be the number one pick if the lottery balls swing our way and the Mavericks pick. When scrutinizing the Trae Young / Luka Doncic deal, novices often forget that we also receive the Mavericks 1st round pick granted it falls outside the top five. Right now, the Mavs are around the 9th spot which would give about a 75% chance of the pick conveying. In another piece, I’ll detail the numbers and look ahead to how the Hawks could fare in the Draft Lottery.

With the team performing better than expected as of late, whispers have started to surface that the Hawks may even go after Free Agents this summer. While GM Travis Schlenk mentioned around the deadline that this summer would still be about future flexibility, the magnetism of Trae Young could attract players.

While Atlanta has never been a spot where players wanted to play, we also never had a Point Guard who can find you in your spot at all times. We also had horrible ownership for years but that’s another story for another day.

Regardless of what happens this summer, the Atlanta Hawks are in good hands going forward.

For now though, let’s enjoy what these final few games bring us. Come on down to StateFarm Arena, because you never know what will happen next. It’s time to jump back on the bandwagon. Tomorrow doesn’t just start today, tomorrow is today. #KeepThatSameEnergy

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Phil Veasley | @_ATLPhil Twitter | @ATLSportsHQ Twitter/IG

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Trae Young: Atlanta’s Scrutinized Rising Star

2018 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot
http://www.soaringdownsouth.com

Back on June 21, 2018, Hawks General Manager Travis Schlenk made a trade that shocked the NBA world. With Luka Doncic sitting on the board at 3rd overall, the Hawks decided to pass on the youngest ever Euro League MVP and ultimately dealt his draft rights to the Dallas Mavericks for a top 5 protected first round pick in this year’s draft and the rights Trae Young.

Many already called it a landslide victory for Dallas without either player playing a game. It got to the point where writers and NBA fans were almost rooting for Trae Young to fail just so they could prove themselves right.

The Trae Young hate hasn’t completely vanished despite his stellar play this season, and the Luka Doncic hype has only grown (and deservedly so). Both of these players will be great, but the national media continues to spin it the other way by continuously talking about all of Doncic’s good moments and Trae Young’s bad. Even when Trae does good (which he has been playing great for the last 2 months) you see the media tweet things like this.

Trae Young was the most popular player in college basketball and in last year’s draft. He was the focal point of every team’s defensive gameplan in college and it is the same thing in the NBA. If you go take a look at the Raptors game early this month, Trae Young had a good game but not a great one, but with the Hawks down one going for the win, who was guarding Young? Kawhi Leonard, arguably the best defender in the NBA.

Young drove fearlessly to the rim on Kawhi. That type of confidence is what the Hawks need in their young point guard. He may have not made the shot, but it is a learning moment that will make Trae the great player that he seems destined to become and why he is already respected as such by NBA defenses.

Away from all of that, there is this notion that Trae Young is having a terrible season. That just is not true. He had a terrible month of November shooting the ball(19.8% from 3) but at the same time led all rookies in assists for that month with 8.1 a game. Like we said in our player preview for Trae, the media will force you to look at the nights where he struggles from the field rather than looking at his impressive numbers in the assists column.

Trae has really hit his stride since the month of December. He is catching on to the NBA speed and his shot selection has improved. I wouldn’t call Trae a pass first point guard because he is at his best when he is aggressive, but he knows exactly when to make the right pass. He is a pick and roll magician and can get it to the roll man even when there seems to be no passing lane. If you’re open on the perimeter, Trae will find you, just be ready to shoot.

Luka and Trae are marketing dreams and are already up there in terms of popularity.  Deandre Ayton over in Phoenix is putting up some really good numbers but the national media rarely shows his highlights or stat lines. Marvin Bagley is the forgotten number two overall pick in Sacramento who is quietly improving as the season goes on. The difference between all of them is that Trae Young will always be regarded in direct opposition to Doncic and any sort of struggle from Trae is fuel for media’s glamoration of Luka.

When Trae Young did this step back on Giannis Antetokounmpo, the national media acted like it never happened. Not one single replay on SportsCenter or tweet by Bleacher Report or ESPN.

It is all okay though. The only that matters is that Trae is not letting any of it get to him. He keeps putting in the work at practice and after games. The noise isn’t getting to him as his 16ppg 3.1rpg 7.2apg stat-line, is one we have only seen 5 other players in NBA hisotry put up in their rookie seasons: Damon Stoudamire, Allen Iverson, John Wall, Chris Paul, and Magic Johnson. Trae is also putting up those numbers in 29.6 minutes per a game.

Any other season, those are runaway Rookie of the Year numbers. Not this season as Luka Doncic is having a historic rookie campaign. People actually view him as a bust, because he is not matching Luka’s numbers. People only remember Trae’s 3 point % for the season being at 24% but turn their heads the other way when you mention how is shooting 37% from deep since that rough November stretch. People forget that this is the same rookie that has already put games with 35&11 and 25&17 and is creeping up on the NBA record for 20-point 10-assist games for a rookie.

The city of Atlanta knows what they have in Trae Young. A rising star that makes the whole team better. Trae is rookie, but his ability to set his teammates up for the best possible shot is that of a 10 year vet. Trae takes pride in going up against the best of the best and after his bad games, he learns from them and then drops a crazy stat line the next game.

The scary thing for the NBA is that Trae will get better. His shooting is already making big strides. He’s getting more crafty with his passes. Oh, and the Hawks are poised to add 2 more lottery picks beside him in this year’s draft headlined by RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson.

The future is bright for the Hawks. They have their core in place. They have the right coach, Lloyd Pierce, in place. They now have their star of the future in place. The backbone of it all is Trae Young. His ability to make everyone better will draw free agents and make Atlanta a force in the NBA.

Trae Young has no interest in following the path of others, he wants to create his own. He wants to lead the Hawks where it has never gone since they moved to Atlanta. The NBA Finals.

By: Bret Anderson

 

 

Trae Young

Trae Young Aims to be the Face of Atlanta

On June 21,2018 the Atlanta Hawks traded the 3rd overall pick to the Dallas Mavericks for the 5th overall pick: Trae Young. People questioned the pick over the blooming European star Luka Doncic, but Young’s notoriety and stardom has made the pick worth it for Atlanta.

Trae Young has been featured on ESPN numerous times, he brought national attention to Oklahoma and had the national spotlight for his entire college career. All these things is just what the Hawks need after years of mediocrity and low attendance. Trae is not a star now but he has the potential and the city is already buzzing over the possibilities.

Trae Young
(Via Trae Young’s Twitter

The Hawks haven’t had a superstar-level player since the great Dominique Wilkins. He’s the Hawks’ career leader in points and scoring average. He led the Hawks to the playoffs 8 out of his 12 seasons and gave outstanding contributions on and off the court. Since Wilkins Atlanta has had All Stars like Joe Johnson, Paul Millsap and Al Horford but the evident lack of superstardom continually brought down those teams.

The Hawks have never been a glorious free agent market aside and haven’t really lucked into drafting or signing any stars. They were always a middle of the pack team and could never get a high enough draft pick. That is what Travis Schlenk is looking to change by adding Trae Young.

Young has been one of the most talked-about rookies since being drafted. Experts have picked him to be NBA Rookie of the Year and has drawn comparisons to Steph Curry and Steve Nash; if you watch his game you see why. His electrifying shooting and bodacious passes is what’s going to get people watching.

Trae also has a huge contract with Adidas and various other endorsements which will fuel the media attention. Nobody expects Trae to be a superstar right away; we know there will be ups and downs, but we do expect to see the potential this city has been feigning for.

Atlanta is a flashy city, perfect for flashy players and perfect for Trae Young. He has all the support behind him: Falcons players, local music stars and celebrities have been seen giving him respect. He has a lot of potential and the city is by his side to watch him grow, mature and become that face of Atlanta.

Trae Young

Atlanta Hawks 2018-19 Player Preview: Trae Young

The Hawks stunned the NBA world when they traded the youngest Euro League MVP ever, Luka Doncic for Trae Young and another first round pick in next year’s draft (top 5 protected). Many already are writing the Hawks off as losers by a land-slide in this trade. The critics of the trade and of Trae Young continued to grow as Trae struggled in the Summer League.

After the Utah Summer League, the Hawks ventured over to Vegas to continue their summer circuit. That’s when Trae Young proved to the NBA that his game can translate to the league. The shooting struggles were still there but perhaps his best ability, his passing, dazzled the crowds in Vegas. Finding open guys when there seemed to be no passing lane. He displayed his ability to make the big play when he led the Hawks from 25 down in the Summer League playoffs and was seemingly doing whatever he wanted to.

Trae-Young-Hawks
clutchpoints.com

As the calendar flipped to the preseason, many were still questioning Young about how he can do against the “real” NBA players. Well, his passing again, dazzled everyone. Look back to the Pelicans game during the preseason. It was a pick-n-roll with John Collins. The Pelicans did a great job of not allowing a passing lane to Collins so what does Trae do? Lobs it off the top of the back board and lets John Collins slam it home. Then he threw a pass between a defenders legs during the Hornets game to Miles Plumlee who again slammed it home. Trae finished the preseason with an assist to turnover ratio of 2.45-1.

Trae Young did continue to struggle shooting the ball as his shooting percentage was just below 40%, but he shot the 3 ball at a 37% rate. The overall shooting percentage number will increase during the regular season once his shot selection improves a little and also starts getting close to the rim and using his deadly floater.

In the preseason game against the Spurs Trae Young was at his best. The game was tied at 125 late in the 4th, Trae Young drove to about 8 feet and used his floater to give the Hawks the lead. The Spurs tied it and the Hawks had one more chance to win it. Trae Young dribbles across mid court with time ticking down and the defender neevr really picked him up so he pulls up from about 30 feet and drills it. Trae Young very early on has flashed signs of his limitless potential and to have a knack to make the big play.

As the Hawks tip off their season tonight in Madison Square Garden, many eyes will be on the Hawks starting point guard. He will have his critics. People are almost wishing that he fails in the NBA. Why so much unfair criticism for a 20 year old? No idea, but it wont affect Trae as he just want to prove everyone wrong.

There will be many ups and downs for Trae Young as there are with every rookie. You will his bad times be highlighted more by the twitter world than his triumphs. You will be fooled into looking at just his shooting statistics on his off nights rather than looking at his impressive numbers in the assist column on those same nights.

Trae Young will be facing this criticism all season, but it will not affect him in the slightest. Young can easily lead all rookies in assists and scoring, just how he led the nation in scoring and assists as a freshman at Oklahoma. He will be the guy taking the bulk of the shots for the Hawks as he is already the best play maker on the team. He make the other players around him better and set them up for wide open shots or dunks multiple times a game.

Now, cool it with all the Steph Curry narratives for Trae Young and just let him make a name for himself.

By: Bret Anderson