Atlanta Hawks: 2018-19 player grades for Trae Young

Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images /
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(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /


Usually, I would spotlight three of a player’s best games of the season, but for Young, it would be best to break down the game that cemented him as a future NBA star, the game that almost singlehandedly vaulted him into the Rookie of the Year conversation. This, of course, was his 49-point performance in that quadruple-overtime thriller against the Chicago Bulls.

Along with his scoring totals — which came on 17-of-33 shooting — Young added 16 assists and eight boards in a performance that briefly garnered him some national media attention. He got off to a slow start, scoring his first field goal at the 9:46 mark of the second quarter, but he managed to get his teammates involved in the interim, thanks to the attention Young drew from the Bulls’ defense.

Here, he uses dribble penetration off of a dribble handoff to create a scoring chance for Dewayne Dedmon. Once Young gets past Kris Dunn, Robin Lopez holds serve in the paint to take away a layup/floater. But Young takes advantage of this by sneaking a picturesque lob just out of Lopez’s reach and into the hands of Dedmon:

Once Young knocked down a long triple to push the Atlanta lead to 39-31, he spent the rest of the game torturing the hapless Bulls with an array of floaters:

And plenty of 3s:

If you watched just this one game and came away with the impression that Young was one of the best point guards in the league, no one would blame you.