Just a few games into his career, Trae Young is playing like a star already. The Atlanta Hawks are looking really smart right now, for going after the former Oklahoma stud. Young accomplished many feats in college. But his most impressive was leading the nation in both points per game and assists. It was a true testament to his overall offensive game, and his ability to work off of what the defense gives him.
Already showing so much potential in college, the Atlanta Hawks felt they needed to go after the point guard. Now, they are reaping the benefits of that decision. Young has showed a great shooting range, knocking down three-point attempts from way beyond the NBA arc. He is also putting on a dribbling show, with a great handle on the ball. In this truly great rookie class, it’s still way too early in the season to crown him Rookie of the Year. But so far, things are looking up in Atlanta, who suddenly has a strong point guard running the show.
Young’s best performance so far came against the Cleveland Cavaliers. In that game, he scored 35 points, while also dishing 11 assists to his teammates. That game showed that Young has a naturally high basketball IQ. He began the game shooting well from outside. Then, when the defense stepped up to guard him from the three-point line, he used that spacing to aggressively drive the ball to the basket. In the second half, Young’s focus shifted toward setting up his teammates with great looks. That’s how smart he is. He knows what the defense is doing, and his versatility and all-around skills enable him to adjust his game to make the most of the situation at hand.
Another impressive game for Young came just days later, when the Hawks faced the Dallas Mavericks and fellow rookie Luca Doncic. While Young wasn’t nearly as prolific in the scoring department in that game, he showed how clutch he is, with two late drives to the basket to get his team the victory.
And if style was given points, young would be getting them in bunches. He has so much control when handling the rock, that it really is reminiscent of Steph Curry. Young has great moves with the ball in his hands. He is able to adjust on the fly, making great split-second decisions that are simply innate. It’s a talent that not many players have. And since he is just a few games into his professional career, it’s mind-blowing to think just how great he can become.
Of course, defenses are going to start keying in on Young as the season continues. But that doesn’t mean they will be successful. He can really do it all. His deep range is the difference-maker that makes him so hard to stop. How far out should a defender step out to stop him? And if they do come out well beyond the three-point line, he can easily use his quickness and shifty moves to run by whoever is guarding him.
It’s safe to say Young is already exceeding expectations. It was always obvious that he was an immense talent. But several teams passed on him early in the draft in favor of more hyped prospects. Still, it’s a long season, and last year showed how rookies can step it up later in the year. After Ben Simmons claimed most of the attention for his stellar play throughout the 2017-18 season, fellow rookies Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum played at a much higher level in the playoffs, keeping up with some of the greatest players in the NBA. Time will tell how great Young will be in this league, but he couldn’t be off to a better start.