Trae Young still doesn’t receive the respect he deserves, despite being named an All-Star starter in just his second season. Critics point to his porous defense (which is an issue) and him not being a team player (which is ridiculous considering he averages nearly ten assists per game) as reasons why the Hawks have had such an abysmal record over the past two seasons. The reality is Atlanta’s struggles have had very little to do with Young, and everything to do with the rag-tag roster put together around him that cannot even stay healthy. There’s an argument to be made that Young is the best point guard in the Eastern Conference, and his ability to score with the game on the line is a fantastic indicator of that.
Since the regular season is likely over, Young will finish the year with the most points in the 4th quarter, scoring 496 in just 57 games played. And if he had continued on that pace for the rest of the season, he would have put together one of the most productive 4th quarter scoring seasons in the last decade, surpassing everyone except for Isaiah Thomas in 2017.
4th Quarter Leading Scorers over the last 10 seasons:
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) May 7, 2020
On a points per game basis, Young tied with James Harden, averaging 8.7 points in the 4th quarter. However, Young shot significantly better from the field and three-point range.
When you’re only 21 and already one of the best offensive players in the game, there are going to be plenty of haters, and only one thing can change that — winning. The Hawks have been in the cellar for the last two seasons. However, through free agency, development, and the draft, they should be in a fantastic spot to make a run at the playoffs next year. Then, Trae Young will start receiving the respect he deserves.