Coach Lloyd Pierce confirmed Monday that Trae Young will start the season-opener against New York, Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
This is in no way a surprise, but Pierce but an end to any shred of doubt that Young wouldn't begin the year as the Hawks' starting point guard. The rookie had an up-and-down preseason, as expected, but he'll essentially be handed the reins to an offense from Day 1, and he could take on even more scoring responsibilities in the early going with John Collins nursing an injury. Young will likely struggle to score efficiently, but he projects to be a strong contributor in points, made threes and assists, by rookie standards.
Young totaled 22 points (8-18 FG, 4-8 3Pt, 2-3 FT), seven assists, three rebounds, and two steals in 31 minutes during Wednesday's 130-127 win over the Spurs.
Young cashed in from well beyond the arc to clinch the game. Moreover, he committed just one turnover. It was by far Young's best performance in the preseason, which bodes well for his confidence heading into Friday's preseason finale versus the Heat and next Wednesday's regular season opener against a Knicks club that's expected to struggle defensively.
Young won't play during Thursday's contest against Portland, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Young, who has begun to find his stroke, will get Thursday's game off for rest. Across four summer league games in Vegas, he's averaging 17.0 points on 38.7 percent from beyond the arc.
Young had 23 points (7-14 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 7-7 FT), eight assists and two steals in 26 minutes during Wednesday's 107-101 summer league victory over the Pacers.
Young helped the Hawks to narrow six-point victory, pouring in 23 points while shooting 50 percent from the field. The passing was there once again as he dished out eight assists but it was the shooting that was of more importance. His efficiency has been a major issue across summer league but he was able to find his way to the basket here while managing to get to the free-throw line with some regularity. Like any rookie point guard, he is going to have plenty of ups and downs but things appear to be trending in the right direction for the youngster out of Oklahoma.
Young finished with 24 points (7-19 FG, 7-13 3Pt, 3-4 FT), five assists, two steals and one rebound across 33 minutes during Tuesday's 101-93 summer league victory over the Bulls.
Young's status coming into the contest was in question, as he had left Sunday's tilt against the Trail Blazers after just nine minutes due to a thigh bruise. The rookie quickly brushed off any notion he was feeling the effects of the injury, drilling seven threes en route to a victory. There are still some growing pains, however, as he went 0-for-6 on two-pointers and recorded only one more assist than turnover. Still, Tuesday's contest represents a turning point for Young, who has now strung together two consecutive 20-point games, excluding the contest where he left early.
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