Atlanta Hawks: Trae Young Must Emulate Stephen Curry on Defense

Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

A quick look at a major area of concern for Trae Youn of the Atlanta Hawks next season: Defense.

For the Atlanta Hawks, defense will surely be one of the most important aspects of the team’s improvement as its young players learn the ins and outs of the less glamorous end. One of the most impactful players on the team is point guard Trae Young, whose defense last season could only be described as matador-esque.

Young lacked the defensive IQ and necessary physicality to truly make a difference on that end of the court, but according to a recent piece by Mo Dakhil of Bleacher Report, there is one notable precedent for a sweet-shooting diminutive point guard making strides on the defensive end: Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.

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Anyone who has watched Curry over the past few years in the playoffs knows he is no slouch defensively, despite not having the best physical tools to truly dominate on that end. However, his smarts and effort make up for that – two areas in which Young is still learning.

For Young, who has long been compared to Curry due to his propensity for launching comically distant three-pointers, must follow in Curry’s footsteps on defense, however, if he is to truly elevate his game to the next level.

“Curry’s physical attributes (6’3″, 190 lbs) limit his defensive ceiling, but he makes up for them with his understanding of the scheme and, most importantly, the outstanding effort he puts in,” per Dakhil’s piece on Bleacher Report. “This is where Young has to improve. He is not going to change his physical limitations (6’2″, 180 lbs), but he can put in more effort to fight on that end. It was just his rookie year, but he has to put up a better defensive rating than 114.8 the rest of the way.”

Indeed, as we have previously explored, Young’s next step toward true superstardom must come on the defensive end, as he has already proven himself capable of elevating an offense single-handedly.

Next. 7 Best Players on Hawks Ahead of 2019-20. dark

No matter what, the 2019-20 season will be huge for Young’s development, and it will be interesting to see how he lives up to his rollicking rookie campaign.