Hawks' Trae Young admits targeting Sixers' Tyrese Maxey, calls out officiating

Trae Young openly admitted he had Tyrese Maxey in his crosshairs down the stretch of the Atlanta Hawks' win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks (15-21) snapped a two-game losing streak with a win over the Philadelphia 76ers on January 11. They got plenty of stellar performances, including Trae Young who had 28 points, 11 assists, one block, one rebound, and one steal. But his biggest play may have been getting Sixer star Tyrese Maxey to commit his sixth and final foul at a critical juncture of the game.

Maxey finished with a game-high 35 points to go with nine assists, eight rebounds, and four steals. 

“Yeah, I knew he had five fouls,” Young said postgame via the team. “I knew he wasn't going to try to want to foul again, and I seen him in transition backpedaling.”

Maxey had just given the Sixers a one-point lead two possessions before that fateful play.

“Thankfully the guys in the stripes called that one,” Young said. “There's a lot of other calls throughout the game they probably could have given us that were similar to that foul. But they just called it. 

“It's not necessarily about how many times it's called or certain things go your way. It's the timing in which it happens. And, fortunately enough for us, we had a certain call [that] went our way – that was a six foul. Wasn't getting it the whole game. But the timing of it uh really helped us. So that was good.”

Young was also credited with a clean strip (the block) on Maxey at the end of regulation to force the overtime.

He and Dejounte Murray converged on a double-team as Maxey picked up his dribble.

Hawks head coach Quin Snyder was effusive with praise for both members of his starting backcourt after the game. 

Hawks’ Trae Young overtakes Bucks' Damian Lillard in All-Star Voting

One of the running themes of Young’s career has been his absence from the festivities during All-Star weekend. Despite leading the NBA in total assists in each of the last two seasons, Young was not named an All-Star in either campaign.

He has failed to make the cut in three of the last four seasons.

Young has openly noted he could have a hard time making the team if fans didn’t vote him in. If that is the case, he still has a fighting chance after overtaking Milwaukee Bucks star Damian Lillard in the latest round of fan voting, which accounts for 50% of all voting.

Young finished fifth in fan voting among Eastern Conference guards last season.

He could get a boost if the Hawks can go on a run, starting with the five-game homestand, which they’ve already kicked off with a win.