Trae Young’s first few NBA games were pretty solid, all things considered, but he struggled a bit with turnovers and inefficiency — a pair of common rookie problems. Neither of those two issues arose on Sunday evening, however, as Young officially arrived in the league with a stunning performance.
Young used his creativity and quickness with the dribble to not only free himself for long-range 3s and buckets in the lane, but to set up his teammates as well. He finished with 35 points on 13 of 23 shooting overall, including 6 of 14 from 3-point land, and added 11 assists in the Hawks’ 133-111 win over the Cavaliers.
In doing so, Young became the first rookie since Stephen Curry to record at least 35 points and 10 assists in a game. In the past 25 years, the only other players to accomplish that feat besides Young and Curry are LeBron James, Allen Iverson and Jason Kidd.
Furthermore, Young became the second-youngest player in league history to have a game with those stats, doing so at 20 years and 32 days old. The record holder in that regard is none other than James, who once put up 41 points and 13 assists when he was still 19 years old, which is just absurd.
But back to Young. This was exactly the type of performance the Hawks envisioned when they made the decision to deal Luka Doncic for him on draft night. Young stretches the floor to extreme lengths with his ability to hit deep 3s, but more importantly, he showed on Sunday that he can get into the lane to create for himself and others.
It’s still super early in Young’s career, and there’s no guarantees in this league, but when you’re joining the history books alongside the likes of Curry and LeBron in Game 3, that’s a pretty good place to start.
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