Trae Young’s NBA playoff debut has been, by far, the most social media-worthy part of the NBA playoffs as the Atlanta Hawks face the Philadelphia 76ers in round two on Sunday.
Young — who played one year at Oklahoma before moving on to the NBA — led the Atlanta Hawks to a five-game series victory over the New York Knicks. In doing so, he averaged 29.2 points and 9.2 assists per game in the series. The third-year pro also led the Hawks to their first playoff series victory since the 2015-16 season.
And he did it with his trademark swag. For instance, in Game 1, Young hit the game-winner in the final seconds at Madison Square Garden, the mother church of basketball. In doing so, he ‘hushed’ the partisan crowd at the Garden and became GIF-worthy.
Atlanta Hawks win the series over New York Knicks. Trae young at it again.
Series over at 4-1. What game at Madison square garden. pic.twitter.com/N09hM0bkfo
— The SportsGrail (@thesportsgrail) June 3, 2021
The Knicks came back and won Game 2 at the Garden, and that came with controversy as a Knicks fan spat on Young. Garden officials banned the fan indefinitely. Young decided not to press charges.
Everyone is talking about the Sixers fan dumping popcorn on Westbrook, but let’s not ignore the Knicks fan spitting on Trae Young pic.twitter.com/HWioRIs8Al
— Guru (@DrGuru_) May 27, 2021
Young had a message for Knicks as he exited the Garden after Game 2, knowing then that Atlanta would have to return to New York to win the series.
“I’ll see you in the A”
Trae Young is ready for Game 3 👀 pic.twitter.com/p85ade6pYI
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 27, 2021
But that probably only fueled Young more for Game 3 in Atlanta, where he led the Hawks to a 2-1 series lead.
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After the Hawks won Game 3 and took a 2-1 lead, Young and the Hawks took control of the series where, once again, Young gifted social media and GIF connoisseurs with an ‘ice cold’ way of telling your friends you’ve been beaten.
ICE TRAE 🥶 pic.twitter.com/1S4BcL7HDM
— ESPN (@espn) May 30, 2021
Young had no BAD feelings for the Knicks after Game 4, but he wasn’t exactly worried about the Knicks being “in their feelings” as the series headed back to New York.
— Kelly Price (@thekellyprice) May 30, 2021
Game 5 saw the Hawks win the series. And, once again, Young met the moment, not just in the quality of his play but in the quality of his impact on social media. We always say take a bow after a great performance, right?
HAWKS WIN! pic.twitter.com/LFiFxRVBDF
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 3, 2021
Well, that’s what they do in New York, right? I mean, Broadway isn’t that far away from Madison Square Garden.
Broadway Trae 🎩 pic.twitter.com/afb2yL6bKb
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 3, 2021
And in case you think Young is all about the swag, well, he did things in this series that, well, are just astonishing.
Last players with 3+ 30-point games vs Knicks in playoffs:
Trae Young 2021
Michael Jordan 1996
Reggie Miller 1993
Michael Jordan 1992
Michael Jordan 1989
— Marc Weber (@MarcWeberSports) June 3, 2021
So, what you’re saying is that Young joined the player many consider the NBA’s G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All-Time) and a cold-blooded Knicks killer? That’s quite the trio.
And in Hawks history? Young has no equal after five playoff games.
Trae Young has scored the most points (146) through 5 career playoff games in Hawks franchise history. pic.twitter.com/ynBipkZFA6
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 3, 2021
So, as Young and the Hawks look to upend the 76ers, expect more ‘social media moments’ from the guard of the moment in these NBA playoffs.
Things heating up at MSG 👀 🍿 pic.twitter.com/IEnPjqP1gn
— Whistle (@WhistleSports) June 3, 2021
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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