When Trae Young was asked about the doubters, who doubt he’ll be able to win a championship with the Atlanta Hawks, he showed off his basketball skills and brushed them aside. Seems like all things are possible when you put your mind to it.

Trae Young Calls on the Past to Brush Hawks Skeptics Aside

The Atlanta Hawks had a chance to establish their image as an emerging NBA contender one season after making a stunning run to the Eastern Conference Finals. So far, they’ve blown that opportunity. Trae Young, on the other hand, is unconcerned.

The Hawks were formerly considered underdogs in the first two rounds of the 2021 playoffs against the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers. Atlanta triumphed over both obstacles and hushed the skeptics. With his season on the line, Young is relying on his prior experience to be cool and inspire confidence in himself and his teammates.

This season, the Hawks have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the NBA.

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The Hawks have looked like the club that was two victories away from reaching the NBA Finals last season at times.

Atlanta won eight of its next nine games after dropping to 17-25 on Jan. 15. The Hawks battled their way back into playoff contention and were poised to soar in the closing months of the season.

It hasn’t occurred.

Following that 8-1 run, the Hawks lost four of their next five games. They won three straight games before the All-Star break, but have since gone 3-2 and are coming off a humiliating defeat to the Detroit Pistons, in which Trae Young shot a dismal 5-of-20.

Injuries are to blame for some of this. Between February 13 and March 3, John Collins missed seven straight games, robbing the Hawks of a key frontcourt player. Even yet, Atlanta continues to be plagued by the same problems.

Young’s skill has led to the Hawks having the NBA’s second-best offensive rating. Atlanta, on the other hand, is ranked 27th in terms of defensive rating. Because Young and other guards fail to restrict ball-handlers at the point of attack, the team lets up a lot of points in the paint.

While the Hawks’ defensive woes have led to some doubt, Young remains confident in his team’s ability to make a run.

Trae Young believes the Hawks can bounce back.

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Nobody can impose any expectations on the Hawks that Young himself does not have.

During an interview with The Athletic, Ice Trae discussed Atlanta’s troubles. He said that he has “always” high expectations for himself and his squad. The All-Star point guard also said that his previous accomplishments have helped him tune out the noise.

Young believes the Hawks can make a run as a result of such contextualization.

“I’ve faced skepticism before and triumphed. Last year, I knew no one expected us to defeat the Knicks. Nobody thought we’d be able to defeat Philly. We triumphed above the odds. We were six games in and on the verge of defeating the champs. If you put us in a seven-game series and give us a chance to look at you, I believe we can defeat anybody. We have the skills and the smarts to make a difference. “I have faith in myself.”

–Trae Young, as reported by The Athletic

The Hawks can score against almost any opponent. They’ve also had notable victories against some of the NBA’s top contenders.

The Atlanta Hawks have a 2-0 record against the Milwaukee Bucks. It has a 2-2 record against the Boston Celtics and a 2-1 record against the Cleveland Cavaliers this season. The Hawks have also beaten the Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, and Phoenix Suns this season.

Atlanta, on the other hand, must develop a rhythm, especially on defense. Young has to find a way to improve his defense.

Is it possible for Young to be a part of the solution?

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young looks on during an NBA game against the Detroit Pistons

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young looks on during an NBA game against the Detroit Pistons On March 07, 2022, Trae Young watches a game against the Detroit Pistons | Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Trae Young’s offensive value almost cancels out his defensive flaws in many ways.

When Young is on the court, the Hawks score 118.3 points per 100 possessions, which is 8.1 points more than when he is off. With Ice Trae in the game, they are outscoring opponents by 1.9 points per 100 possessions, although conceding an extra 5.5 points per 100 possessions when he mans the point.

Atlanta, on the other hand, needs more defensively from Young.

Clint Capela, Onyeka Okongwu, and John Collins aren’t enough to guard the paint and provide consistent weak-side defense for the Hawks. They need to do a better job of keeping ball-handlers out of the restricted area and coordinating cleaner transitions.

Much of this is contingent on communication and spatial awareness, two areas in which Young has historically failed. Atlanta attempts to keep him hidden on that end of the floor, but he gets lost off the ball from time to time, exposing himself to cutters who get into the lane and cause ball movement.

The Hawks could benefit from internal improvements. De’Andre Hunter continues to work on his conditioning. The interiors of Capela and Okongwu are very valuable. Atlanta can have greater success if it generates more turnovers. All arrows continue to point to Ice Trae.

Young may still believe in the Hawks’ capacity to make a long playoff run, but if they are to achieve their peak, he must demonstrate greater involvement.

Basketball Reference provided the statistics.

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