- NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Atlanta Hawks rookie point guard Trae Young has impressed in his first six games in the NBA.
- On Monday, the Hawks went on the road to take on notorious smack-talker Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers.
- Although the 76ers dealt Atlanta a 21-point loss, Young managed to embarrass Embiid with a nutmeg pass to Dewayne Dedmon for the slam.
On Monday, Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks traveled to Philadelphia to take on star Joel Embiid and the 76ers. Embiid – who dubbed himself “The Process” in light of the 76ers’ successful rebuild – is so notorious for his smack-talking on and off the court that Atlanta head coach Lloyd Pierce called him out heading into the game.
“I expect a lot of trash talk from some players,” Pierce told Sixers beat writer Keith Pompey. “I won’t name any names, but Joel [Embiid] is probably going to talk all game.”
But Pierce’s rookie point guard managed to find a way to shut Embiid up – even if it was only for a moment.
With his team trailing by 18 early in the fourth quarter, Young dribbled around the perimeter searching for an opening. Embiid and last season’s Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons double-teamed him, but he managed to slip a bounce pass between Embiid’s legs and connected with center Dewayne Dedmon for the emphatic slam.
Check out the full video below:
Young ranks 11th in the NBA in assists per game, but that dime may just be the most impressive of his NBA career so far. Aside from that highlight-reel assist, the Lubbock, Texas native struggled in his trip to Philadelphia. Young scored just 11 points on 5-for-13 shooting from the field and 16.7 percent from beyond the arc for the lowest scoring output of his young NBA career. He did, however, post eight assists without giving up a single turnover in 29 minutes on the floor. Still, Young was critical of his performance in his postgame comments Monday night:
“[The problem] was energy, it was energy from start to finish,” Young said, per SB Nation’s Glen Willis. “We didn’t have it and that was the main reason why we lost… It starts with me. With energy. I’ve got to bring energy start to finish.”
The six-foot-two, 180-pound point guard has averaged 18.3 points and seven assists through his first six games with Atlanta, but his 39.1 field goal percentage and 30.2 percent shooting from beyond the arc have been a cause for concern for Hawks fans and management.
Young was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks with the fifth pick of the 2018 NBA Draft but was promptly shipped to Atlanta in exchange for Slovenian small forward Luka Doncic. A product of Oklahoma, Young caught the world of college basketball by storm during his freshman campaign with the Sooners. He drew comparisons to two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry thanks to his sensational shots, incredible range, and crafty dimes. Even before his rookie season in the NBA began, Young made headlines by draining a game-winning shot from near half court in a preseason contest against the San Antonio Spurs.
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) October 11, 2018
The Hawks travel to Cleveland Tuesday night, where Young will look to improve his shooting numbers and bring his team closer to .500 against the LeBron-less Cavaliers.
“It will be a tough game, it will be a tough atmosphere,” Pierce said postgame. “We just need to be better. We need to play better, we need to come together as a team, we need to have a better spirit going into this road trip.”