I’ll be the first to admit, watching what Steph Curry is doing in his 13th year in the league is a treat for any basketball fan. He’s truly revolutionized the game and somehow seems to get even better with each passing season. Curry deserves to be at the top of every MVP conversation along with Durant and others that the media has drooled over through the first quarter of the season, but one player that nobody seems to be talking about in a national context is Trae Young.
Following one of the best playoff runs we’ve ever seen from a 22-year-old, I thought the days of questioning the greatness of Young would be in the rearview mirror. But no, the goalposts continue to move. Apparently, the only reason Young was able to have success last season was because of all the cheap fouls he was able to force defenders into committing — at least that’s what I was told.
A quarter of the way through the season and the Hawks point guard is well on his way to posting the best numbers of his career. Young is averaging 26.3 points per game on the best shooting numbers of his career — 46.6% from the field and 38.8% from three-point range — to go along with 9.1 assists. He’s also doing so on more than three fewer free-throw attempts than last season.
So no, the silly narrative that Young was somehow going to turn into an average player after the rule change is indeed false. This is one of the most skilled basketball players on the planet. He will adapt to whatever rule changes the NBA wants to enforce, and he will thrive.
It’s time to stop talking about Trae Young as just another All-Star. He should never miss another All-Star game in his career if he’s healthy. Young is one of the true superstars in the NBA today, and his name belongs right in the thick of the MVP conversation. Because as good as Curry has been, I would argue that Young has been even better. He’s scoring and shooting just as effectively and averaging nearly three more assists a game.
Young’s been even better recently, too. The Hawks have won eight of their last nine games, and over that stretch, Young is averaging 28.9 points on 50.8% shooting and 43.1% from deep to go along with 8.9 assists. That’s unreal, and if he keeps this up, he will undoubtedly be in the conversation. However, for him to actually take home the award, the Hawks must continue winning as they have over the last few weeks.