Trae Young has been named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the third time this season.
NBA Players of the Week for Week 24: Nuggets‘ Nikola Jokic and Hawks‘ Trae Young.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 4, 2022
This stretch included four Hawks wins while their star point guard averaged over 30 points and 10 assists per game on 46% shooting from the field and 36% from beyond the arc. Two of those wins came against the Nets and Cavaliers, with who the Hawks are battling in the playoff standings. Now that Atlanta is finally stringing together victories, NBA talking heads have absolutely zero excuses not to vote Young to his first All-NBA team.
Atlanta’s All-Star point guard hasn’t simply packed the stat sheet. Although Young’s 28.2 points per game and 9.6 assists per game are impressive, his impact goes beyond the numbers. As Thursday’s game against the Cavaliers demonstrated, Trae’s grit and competitiveness play a huge role. In a pivotal game, he played through an early injury to put up 30 points and nine assists — through just three quarters. The national media has overlooked Trae, perhaps due to his defense, which admittedly, isn’t great, but it shouldn’t be enough to keep him off an All-NBA team.
Points and assists are strongly correlated to All-NBA appearances for guards. For example, ‘20-’21 All-NBA guard Steph Curry ranked number one in the league for points and didn’t even crack the top ten in assists. Following the ‘19-’20 season, James Harden was named to the All-NBA team. He was the top point scorer that season and finished number six for assists. These aren’t players anyone would call defensive specialists either. In these categories, Trae Young is currently topping both those rankings and has a realistic chance to finish number one in both. If a player like Curry was having the season Young is, he would undoubtedly be in the MVP conversation. But instead, 31% of the people have said they won’t be voting for him.
Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire
You must log in to post a comment.