What Trae Young's performance in the 3-Point Contest could mean for the Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks need to start winning games, and the performance by Trae Young in the 3-point contest could be one of the keys to this.

Feb 18, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Eastern Conference guard Trae Young (11) of the Atlanta Hawks
Feb 18, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Eastern Conference guard Trae Young (11) of the Atlanta Hawks / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks (24-31) have a solid offensive game this season. They have the seventh-best offensive rating in the league but are being let down by their 30th racked defense. This sees them ranked 23rd on the season in net rating. Given they have the ninth-worst record in the league, this is a fairly accurate reflection of where they are sitting this season.

So, the question is, how could the 3-point shooting displayed by Trae Young in the 3-Point Contest over the All-Star weekend help fix the defense? Well, the answer is simple in its explanation but could be profoundly difficult in its implementation, but the Hawks need to do something after not making any moves at the trade deadline.

There have been numerous calls for Trae Young to play off the ball to help unlock the potential of Dejounte Murray. One of the best exponents of the catch-and-shoot 3-ball is Young but he only takes 0.053 percent of his attempts from the corner, making an impressive 45.8 percent of them. So, how can this help to unlock Murray on the defensive end?

How the Atlanta Hawks unlock Dejounte Murray on defense?

What is the one consistent for the All-Star level point guard in his 2017-18 All-Defensive season and the 2022-23 steals leading season? Murray was in control of the game. He ran the offense and when he was in charge of the offense, his defensive game was better as well.

In his All-Star season, Murray averaged 8.3 assists per game with a young roster and no other stars on the floor. Imagine what he could do with a shooter like Young in the corner, taking one of the oppositions best defenders away from where Murray is making the play.

Murray is also averaging more 3-point attempts per game than he ever did when he was playing for the Spurs. It might only seem like a small thing but when a player is not playing the game which they are known for on offense, then this can have an impact on their defensive mindset

Even after his ACL injury, Murray remained a tremendous point of attack defender until he came to the Hawks. His defense has been lacking over the past two seasons. So, rather than continue to fit the hexagonal peg into the round hole, lets shave the sides off and make it round again.

This means that Young needs to reign in his offensive game some. But to be fair, he is putting up astronomical numbers on a mediocre team. The Hawks have asked Murray to play a slightly different game from what made him an All-Star, and it has not worked. Let's try a different tactic.

There are enough games left in the season for the Hawks to try this experiment, let's face it, what have they got to lose? They have the potential to make the play-in tournament on their current trajectory, or they can potentially still qualify for the playoffs directly if they go on a run. They are 6.5 games behind the Indiana Pacers who currently occupy the sixth and final playoff spot in the East.