Just when it was believed that the Dallas Mavericks first-year sensation Luka Doncic was running away with the NBA rookie of the year award, the player who he got traded for at the top of the 2018 NBA draft is beginning to hit his stride and put up huge numbers down the final stretch of the regular season.
The Atlanta Hawks first-year point guard Trae Young has been lighting up the league over the past month and a half. He even became the first rookie in NBA history to score at least 45 points and record at least 15 assists in a single game when he put up 49 points and logged 16 assists in the team’s 161-168 overtime loss to the Chicago Bulls on Mar.1.
Young was on yet another scoring tear last night against those same Bulls just two days later before he was ejected for starring down Chicago’s Kris Dunn after he pulled up from deep and sunk another three, his third of the game to that point. The two had been chippy with each other throughout the game and Young had received a technical foul earlier in the contest.
The long ball gave the Hawks a 16-point lead at 78-62 in the third quarter. He then starred down Dunn, who had his back turned, with his hands on his hips which prompted the referee to call his second technical and eject him from the game.
Prior to his ejection, Young had put up 18 points and was 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, and while he wasn’t on pace to match or surpass his historic outing from 48 hours prior, he was still having himself quite the game.
While Doncic hasn’t tailed off much over this same span of time and is widely viewed as the favorite to take home the top rookie honors, Young has at least thrown his hat in the ring with his stellar play as of late and will perhaps not have Hawks fans and front office executives questioning the trade if he can keep it up.