A team that has been in the shadows, the rockbottom, and the downslope since the exit of Al Horford, Kyle Korver, and prime Jeff Teague, has returned to winning ways. The Atlanta Hawks, after cruising past the New York Knicks, will play in a heated series against the one seed Philadelphia 76ers.
The two main stories heading into this series are the health of MVP Candidate Joel Embiid, and the greatness being displayed by the youngster out of Oklahoma, Trae Young. Obviously, the two most important players for their respective teams, the question being asked is can Trae Young lead his squad against this dominant and strong Philly squad?
When Trae Young first entered the NBA draft, there was a lot of criticism that he just simply wasn’t going to be successful in the NBA. One thing people didn’t realize is that he does it all. He can shoot from half court with ease, he has a top 3 floater game in the NBA, but his most deadly asset is his passing ability. Combining those three strengths, along with his handle, and his confidence, and his showmanship, for people to sleep on Trae Young was disrespectful to the game of basketball.
As players get ready to get drafted, analysts love to compare you to other NBA players. Trae was compared to Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard, which in my opinion is unfair. That’s where the hate and the disrespect and the “overrated” came into play. As a 20 year old, not even playing a single game in the NBA, to be compared to an all-time greats isn’t reasonable.
So fast forward three years after draft day, Trae Young is putting on a show in New York City, proving he is a top point guard in this league. Will it be enough against Philly? I think with the way the Hawks shoot the ball, and how this Atlanta team has nothing to lose, an upset could be in play here.
I expect Joel Embiid, a man who is simply unguardable, to take over this series, but Philly will need to be on the look out, because if Trae Young gets hot, this series will get interesting.
I’ll take Philly to win the series in 6. Why? Because Trae Young will continue to be great, but experience will win it in the end.