Atlanta Hawks: Forecasting Trae Young vs. Luka Doncic in Home Opener

Trae Young Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Trae Young Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images) /

A look at the Atlanta Hawks home opener through the lens of the draft day trade that saw the team opt for Trae Young’s collegiate production over Doncic’s EuroLeague exploits.

After a seismic draft day trade that sent EuroLeague MVP Luka Doncic to the Mavs for Trae Young and a future first-round pick, the Atlanta Hawks inextricably linked the two players for all time.

Doncic has been receiving plaudits all season long, while Young’s stock rose considerably after a stupendous performance against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

With both players definitely in the running for Rookie of the Year (ahem, after only 3 games played), the two young stars face off against one another for the first time today in the Atlanta Hawks home opener.

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Since sophomore sensation John Collins will miss the team’s first game at the revamped and renamed State Farm Arena, all eyes will be on Trae Young and Luka Doncic. As such, the game will serve as a major talking point in the Young/Doncic debate in the early goings of the 2018-19 season. But is it more than that?

We know that Doncic has performed in pressure cooker scenarios in the EuroLeague and the ACB as he was named MVP and led his team (Real Madrid) to two titles before he turned 20 (P.S. – he’s still only 19).

Young, on the other hand, was one of the most prolific scorers in college basketball history in his lone season in the NCAA.

He became the first player ever to lead the entire nation in points and assists per game, but he seemed to slow down considerably as the season wore on.

So what will happen if Doncic shines and Young seems to shy away from the limelight in the Atlanta Hawks home opener?

In the short-term, the Doncic defenders will chime in with takes about Young being a bust and make fun of the Hawks organization for making another Pau Gasol-sized mistake in the draft.

In the long term, though, this game has little bearing on the outcome of either player’s career. Hopefully, they both play well and the game comes down to the wire with each player dueling for the victory in the game’s final minutes.

Though positioning Doncic and Young as enemies is certainly tantalizing, it seems that both players just want to make an impact in the NBA – and they seem to get along just fine as well:

No matter what, it’s going to be a fun game at State Farm Arena tonight, so keep it locked to Soaring Down South for all the coverage of the Hawks and stay tuned for all your Atlanta Hawks news and updates.

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Let’s go, Trae Young and the Hawks!