Trae Young is the real deal. The Oklahoma Sooners knew this in college. The Milwaukee Bucks and the rest of the NBA are now finding this out first-hand in his initial foray into professional postseason basketball.
Making a surprise appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Atlanta Hawks were looking to steal Game 1 against the Bucks in Milwaukee.
Young went off for 25 points in the first half. Despite this, Atlanta found itself down by five. After a strong third-quarter showing, the Hawks ended up finding themselves in a hole late in the fourth quarter.
By virtue of an amazing put back from Clint Capela and some continued excellence from Mr. Young, the Hawks were able to steal victory from the jaws of defeat — coming out on top by the score of 116-113.
There’s many backstories to this epic Game 1 clash with the Hawks now three wins away from their first NBA Finals appearance since 1960-61 when they were playing in St. Louis. Bucks veteran Pat Connaughton missing a wide-open three-pointer for the lead with less than 24 seconds remaining is a major talking point. Why didn’t Giannis Antetokounmpo or a red-hot Jrue Holiday (33 points Wednesday night) take that shot?
Even then, the story here is Trae Young. The superstar guard shot 17-of-34 from the field, scoring 48 points while grabbing seven rebounds and aiding with 11 helpers.
He became the first player in conference finals history with 45 or more points and 10 or more assists in one game. No Michael Jordan. No Kobe Bryant. No LeBron James. No Stephen Curry. Trae Young on that list all by himself.
It’s absolutely insane to see this 22-year-old kid flourish right in front of our eyes. And once a game-tying three-point attempt from Khris Middleton rimmed out, Young had his Hawks with a 1-0 series lead.