The Hawks’ miraculous playoff run may not have ended in glory, but there shouldn’t be anybody in that locker room hanging their head. The potential of this group was realized much earlier than people anticipated, and a lot of that had to do with Trae Young, who very well might have been the star of this year’s postseason, averaging close to 30 points and 10 assists per game. He was simply magnificent at just 22-years-old; he never flinched on some of the biggest stages, and because of that, his new head coach Nate McMillan believes “he will win big.”
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) July 14, 2021
In just under a minute, McMillan praised Young in about every way possible. He started by recognizing what he can do with his skill on the court — stretch defenses with his shooting, scoring at all three levels, getting to the free-throw line, and playmaking as well as anybody else in the game. However, McMillan continues by acknowledging his maturity and fearlessness, which we saw over the second half of the season and into the playoffs.
Young flipped a switch when McMillan took over as head coach. The young point guard began to control games, knowing when it was time to push it and when to slow it down — aware of when he needed to attack or facilitate to his teammates. Once that happened, the sky was the limit for this Hawks team because Young has something you can’t teach — a killer instinct. That was on full display during the playoffs, but this is just the beginning. Young and these Hawks will be back, and they won’t settle for an Eastern Conference Finals appearance next time around.