It’s early but Trae Young might just be the favorite for MVP.
Is it too soon to start thinking about the NBA MVP Trophy going to Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks this season? Sample size aside, we know who Trae Young is – special. Some might even say a generational talent.
Trae Young has already informed Hawks Fans about his goals to shower this city, this franchise, and these deserving (sufferable) fans, with multiple championships:
The new-look Trae Young and his Atlanta Hawks have shown us a glimpse of the future for this franchise. Should the offensive firepower continue, the team’s defense rise to a top-ten level defense and they make a playoff run? Trae Young will assuredly have a legitimate chance to hoist up the NBA MVP Trophy, this year.
Due to injuries, the Hawks’ full roster is still on the mend this shortened, and peculiar 2020-2021 NBA pandemic season (being played without arena fans plus, the team’s abnormal travel schedules).
Combine that with the power teams having recent participation in the playoffs/bubble and the subsequent title games? Teams like the Atlanta Hawks who haven’t played an official NBA game for the past nine months will most definitely need some WD-40 to remove the rust, and we will see a leveling off of the current playoff standings – as the cream will surely rise to the top.
We can not be dismissive of the 3-1 rocket start to the Atlanta Hawks’ current season. Just three games in and this offense fueled by Trae Young, the Hawks are competing and gelling in a way we haven’t seen in quite a while, and are boasting a strong defensive rating of 109.1 (17th of 30), thus far (This stat and all following will be for the first three games).
According to Cleaning the Glass, the Atlanta Hawks are leading all NBA offenses with a whopping 123.7 points per 100 possessions, excluding garbage-time possessions (at the end of quarters, when players typically heave the balls from half-court).
After ranking dead last in three-point percentage last season, today the Atlanta Hawks flexes a top-five ranking. Amongst the players who have played significant minutes in all three games, De’Andre Hunter sports a 3P% rate of .50 and is leading the way followed by, Cam Reddish‘s 3P% – 44.4, Kevin Huerter‘s 3P% – 43.8, Trae Young’s 3P% – 42.1, and newcomer Bogdan Bogdanović‘s 3p% – 37.5.
Trae Young and Kevin Huerter are leading with 2.7 and 2.3 three-pointers made per game, respectively. The team-point differential is also top-shelf at +12.7 per contest. Granted, these percentages will not be sustainable over seventy-two games – it is what you want to see with this team starting out of the gates.
Here’s a recent tweet highlighting Trae Young’s offensive star-power so far – It’s the way to go if he is to garner enough votes for the 2020-2021 NBA MVP Trophy –
Atlanta Hawks are erasing last season’s inability to string together three consecutive wins. And they are leaving the past three seasons’ record of being the fourth-worst team in the NBA in the rearview mirror by, brandishing a second-place ranking for wins, albeit early on. Winning all their home games and splitting wins on the road, will be the next level of accomplishment for the Hawks. There is a long way to go but, Hawks are headed in the right direction.
Calm down, Mary?
I won’t stop until … the Hawks stop. This team is built for the playoffs, a team built for future championship contention, and …
Yes – A team built for Trae Young to bring home this season’s MVP Trophy!
The things to watch out for is – the avoidance of serious player injuries and COVID-19 infections, this pressurized season. Major injuries will force many teams to scramble for seedings, as the season draws closer to the playoffs.
For Trae Young to have any chance of hoisting the NBA MVP Trophy this season, the Atlanta Hawks must get well soon and remain healthy – to see it through.
They must also increase their defensive intensity and maintain their offensive firepower. I believe all the pieces are in place, it’s just a matter of getting better as a team, sharing the ball, and continuing to develop their bench rotations. Unselfishness on this team will be the main key.
Compared to last season’s offensive output, there is a legitimate ten-point increase per game that is sustainable. The additions of Bogdan Bogdanović, Danilo Gallinari, and Rajon Rondo not only adding scoring power but, the playmaking aspects of this team have been tripled like a force multiplier on a lottery ticket.
Players that can dribble, shoot, and pass are what Travis Schlenk looks for in his team modeling. We saw it in California with the Golden State Warriors and now we see it here in Atlanta, Georgia with the Hawks. The difference between last season’s team passing rates per game (twenty-seventh in the league with 271.2 passes made per game) versus a snap-shot of this years 284.7 passes made per game, not only reveals incrementally better passing for this team – but more importantly, better execution, better players. There is plenty of room to improve with overall team passing but again, we like the uptick.
Not to be overlooked is, the increased aggression of De’Andre Hunter putting the ball on the floor, finishing at the rim, and getting to the free-throw line more:
Likewise, Cam Reddish looks more confident and aggressive as well – a continuation of what we saw at the end of last season. John Collins has come on slower so far but, we can expect him to elevate his play as well.
Turning the page to our bigs- we see Clint Capela, Bruno Fernando, Onyeka Okongwu, and Nathan Knight waiting in the wings and surely, the best is yet to come. The real test comes in game four and five, as the Atlanta Hawks travel to Brooklyn, New York to stare down Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Company for a two-game matchup on the road.
If the start holds up – Trae Young will lead his team to the playoffs and could very well land himself in the conversation for this season’s NBA MVP Trophy – for the culture, this city, these fans, and yes – his mantle.
Do you see what I see? The Atlanta Hawks are going to win games and that could very well lead to Trae Young taking home the MVP.