Trae Young had his worst shooting performance of the postseason in Game 7 of the conference semifinals against the Sixers, but it didn’t matter as the Hawks still pulled out a victory to reach the Eastern Conference Finals against the Bucks. In Game 1 in Milwaukee, Young shook off that Game 7 shooting night to light up the Bucks, scoring 37 points in the first three quarters of the game, absolutely taking over in the third to lead the Hawks from a five-point deficit at the half to a three-point lead going to the fourth.
Not only was Young scoring — something he did in the first half as well with 20 points — but he was starting to get his teammates involved and that is a combination that makes the Hawks nearly unstoppable. The Bucks seemed content to let Young shoot early in the game, but he also started to break down their defense and get everyone else involved in the third, which led to a 34-point explosion for Atlanta.
It was a quarter that will live on the Young highlight reel for a long time, as he broke out two plays you’d expect to see more on the And-1 Mixtape Tour than the Eastern Conference Finals. First, he tossed an off-the-backboard lob in a halfcourt set to John Collins that was absolutely ludicrous.
JOHN COLLINS UNREAL OFF-THE BACKBOARD LOB pic.twitter.com/kLUkC3l5fJ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 24, 2021
Former Hawk Kent Bazemore offered some insight that he’d seen them do that in practice but had told them it’d never work in a game.
They used to do that in practice and I told them no way they’d pull that off. They do it in the EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
— Baze (@24Bazemore) June 24, 2021
After that, Young shook free of Jrue Holiday on a screen and found himself uncovered at the three-point line and couldn’t help but offer a full shimmy before lining up the shot and knocking it down.
WITH THE SHIMMY. pic.twitter.com/h6SmlIoB4U
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 24, 2021
That’s a move that requires supreme confidence and the knowledge that missing it there will get you on Shaqtin A Fool and lit up by the opposing crowd, but he drilled it and it became a second incredible highlight in as many minutes. After those two plays from Young, LeBron James was beside himself on Twitter.
CHILL THE HELL OUT MAN!!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 24, 2021
It was truly an exceptional sequence from Young and one that shows why he has become one of the game’s great players (and heels).