When focusing on Young’s positives, you have to start with his abilities as a facilitator. Not only did Young’s 8.1 dimes per game lead all rookies and rank fourth in the entire NBA, but he also finished sixth among players who averaged at least 15 minutes in assist rate (39.0 percent), per NBA.com.
Despite Young’s inconsistencies as a scorer (we’ll get to that in a bit), opposing defenses respect his shot enough to which he can contort them enough to create open looks for his teammates. Watch the Minnesota Timberwolves‘ D orbit around Young on this pick-and-roll play. Once Young reaches the paint, he quickly zips it out to Vince Carter as soon as he catches Anthony Tolliver ball-watching:
How about this Master’s-level find and skip pass to Carter later in the same game?:
Of course, Young’s favorite tag-team partner for most of the season was John Collins, be it on kick-outs like this:
Or with a more preferred alley-oop:
Young’s craftiness off the dribble along with a steady dose of pull-ups and floaters unlocks much of these passing opportunities for him. If defenses elect to stay home on shooters following a ball screen, Young has no problem flicking teardrops like this over his opponents’ outstretched arms:
Or he could simply create some space and uncork a jumper with his quick release:
All of this made Young a net positive on the offensive end, as the Hawks scored 6.4 more points per 100 possessions when he was on the floor, per Basketball-Reference. But despite these positive signs, there’s still plenty to worry about when it comes to Atlanta’s young floor general.