Atlanta Hawks: Trae Young and the restricted passing boon

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

When the Atlanta Hawks gave Trae Young the keys to their offense three years ago, they gave one of the smallest players in the league one of the biggest jobs. As a result, his career numbers are nothing short of extraordinary in just his third season.

Young is averaging 24.1 points, 8.8 assists, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.0 steals per game. He is shooting the ball at 42.8 percent from the floor, 35.0 percent from deep, and 85.5 percent from the line. This level of efficiency is not good enough to carry a team to victory by himself.

This season Young has consolidated his raw numbers while improving his efficiency. He is averaging 26.4 points, 9.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 0.9 assists. With all the extra help around him, Young has also improved his efficiency to be shooting the ball at 43.0 percent from the floor, However, it is his assist numbers that are the focus of today.

The Atlanta Hawks are benefitting from Trae Young and his big men connections

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The Hawks are benefitting from Young and his connection with his two frontcourt players, John Collins and Clint Capela. Young is ranked second in the entire association with 321 total assists. He trails only James Harden for total assists by only 24 assists.

Young leads the league in assists in the restricted area with 163 which is more than half of his total assists for the season. His favorite target is his old running mate Collins who has been on the receiving end of 90 assists which is second in the entire NBA for a two-player combination.

However, where the Hawks have benefitted from their new signings is Capela has been on the receiving end of 74 of Young’s passes. This is fourth in the NBA for a two-player combination, meaning that the Hawks have two incredible weapons in the paint for Young to pass to.

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This has the impact of no defense being able to stop Young without having to worry about the lob threat. It also means that Young has the ability to penetrate and has the option of passing inside and out. When the Hawks get their players back from injury, this is going to make them an incredibly dangerous team.