Hawks’ Trae Young Joins LeBron James in Record Books After Brilliant Playoff Debut

Published 05/23/2021, 11:00 PM EDT
May 23, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) fouls Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) during the second half in game one in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Seth Wenig/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports


Trae Young didn’t look like a player who just took part in his first playoff game ever. In fact, giving the New York Knicks a run for their money seemed to be the only motive for Young in their first-round playoff matchup. Not only that, but he also bagged the first win of the series for the Atlanta Hawks and added his name to the NBA’s history with a record-breaking performance.

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Trae Young for the game-winner

The Hawks and Knicks faced each other in Madison Square Garden, packed to the brim with Knicks fans. This was the Knicks’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and had fans roaring in full support.

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In fact, they even had some innovative chants to bring the Hawks and Trae down, but nothing seemed to shake the young superstar.

Trae Young stepped up to his reputation and predictions, coming up big when needed the most. Moreover, he put on a show while sealing the deal that gave them a 107-105 win against the Knicks, with his mind-boggling circus shot with less than a second left on the clock.

Driving past several Knicks players, he took flight, and the Atlanta Hawks had their game-winner. Young finished the night with a whopping debut of 32 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds. With this, he became the second player in NBA history (after LeBron James)  to achieve this feat.

Will the underdogs win the series against the Knicks?

Something about Trae’s energy says he can pull this off again. The New York Knicks, who might have taken the Hawks lightly, will have to pull their act together.

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Young outshined an unexpected performance from Alec Burks off the bench. He ended the night with 27 points, while Derrick Rose also had 17 points of his own. Both R.J. Barrett and Julius Randle didn’t have a great night, putting up 14 and 15 points, respectively.

May 23, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) passes during the first half in game one in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Seth Wenig/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Trae’s stunning last shot was mere seconds after Rose had tied the game with a brilliant shot of his own. It seems like the home court was not that big an advantage for the Knicks. With a head start, the Hawks have momentum on their side. Will the fifth-seeded Hawks crush the fourth-seeded Knicks’ dreams of going further into the playoffs?

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DIVE DEEPER

‘That’s Playoff Energy’: Luka Doncic and NBA Players React to Trae Young and Hawks Upsetting Knicks in Game 1

about 1 month ago

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Yashima Bhatia

1228 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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