Time to take a deep breath.
An incredible first weekend of the 2021 postseason has continued, with the Atlanta Hawks outlasting the New York Knicks 107-105 in a classic at Madison Square Garden.
In a game that had five lead changes and multiple ties in the final five minutes, it was Trae Young who iced the game for the Hawks with 0.9 left to play.
Let's jump straight into the takeaways beginnings with the young Atlanta star.
A postseason debut for the ages
Trae Young is no stranger to taking big shots, in fact, he's done it throughout his young career with the Atlanta Hawks.
This occasion was different however, with the time winding down, scores tied and a wild MSG crowd watching his every move.
MORE: Trae Young relishes MSG boos: 'I'm doing something right'
Taking the ball in the back court, Young waved away teammate John Collins, before dribbling right straight into the paint and dropping a floater over the outstretched hand of Julius Randle.
TIME WINDING DOWN.- NBA (@NBA) May 24, 2021
TRAE YOUNG FLOATS IT UP.@ATLHawks WIN GAME 1.#TrueToAtlanta #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/hlaSHajFQo
The star guard silenced the crowd, in what was an incredible debut postseason performance.
Young finished the night with 32 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists on 11-for-23 from the field and a perfect 9-for-9 from the free-throw line.
The 22-year-old joined elite company with the stat line, with LeBron James the only other player in NBA history to record 30 points, 10 assists and five rebounds in a playoff debut.
Trae Young is the 2nd player in NBA history with 30 points, 10 assists and 5 rebounds in his postseason debut. LeBron James is the other. pic.twitter.com/reENWRuhG7- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 24, 2021
It was also the first time a player had dropped 25 and 10 in their debut since his opponent for much of the night Derrick Rose in 2009. Just an incredible performance.
Randle's rough night
In many respects, it was remarkable the Knicks were able to withstand the Young onslaught with their own star Julius Randle enduring a brutal night shooting the ball.
The Knicks All-Star forward finished with a 15-point, 12-rebound, double-double, though he finished just 6-for-23 from the field in one of his worst shooting performances of the season.
Double teamed for much of the night, Randle continued to take tough mid-range jumpers, and unlike much of the regular season, those opportunities failed to go down.
To his credit, he did knock down a clutch triple with 2:04 left to give the Knicks a 98-97 lead in what was a huge moment in the game. It's only one game, but the Knicks will surely need more from their main man if they are to advance beyond the first round.
Electric Garden crowd
While they left disappointed, the 15,000 strong crowd was electric throughout, in what was by far the most absorbing atmosphere the NBA has seen since the beginning of the pandemic.
Hosting its first postseason game since 2013, the Garden was pulsating throughout, it what turned out to be a classic playoff game.
Starting the game just 7-for-26 from the field through 12 minutes, the Knicks appeared a little too fired up at times, with adrenaline surely running at extreme levels.
The Knicks faithful will have two nights off before doing it all again it what looms as a critical matchup with the home team looking to avoid a 2-0 hole.
Clutch Bogey worth every cent
Bogdan Bogdanovic endured an interesting offseason last year, with his reported trade to the Milwaukee Bucks falling through before ultimately signing with the Hawks as a restricted free agent.
The 28-year-old Serbian came into the postseason in electric form, averaging 21.7 points per game on 47.8 percent from deep across his final 12 regular-season outings.
That form carried over to this one, with the guard tallying 18 points on 4-for-9 shooting from range, including a series of big buckets down the stretch.
One of those clutch buckets came with 55 seconds left to play, when he calmly knocked down a long-range attempt to tie the game at 103-103.
CLUTCH. pic.twitter.com/qxooEMTWaR- Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 24, 2021
Overall, the sharpshooter finished with nine points in the final period, all from beyond the 3-point line. Through one postseason game, the investment was worth every cent.
Burks extraordinary fourth goes to waste
With Randle out of sorts, the Knicks needed a spark, with Alec Burks providing just what the Knicks needed.
The journeyman guard exploded for 27 points in just 26 minutes off the bench, including an unbelievable 18 in the fourth quarter alone.
Alec Burks tonight:- StatMuse (@statmuse) May 24, 2021
18 in 4Q
He is the first Knick with 25+ points off the bench in a playoff game since Latrell Sprewell in 1999.
Young Knicks throw it down!
There were highlights aplenty in Game 1, with a pair of young Knicks providing two of the biggest reactions from the home crowd.
First. Obi Toppin throws down.
OBI TOPPIN HAS THE GARDEN POPPIN' pic.twitter.com/hQcUFFJobI- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) May 23, 2021
Then, RJ Barrett goes coast-to-coast for the thunderous jam.
RJ BARRETT JUST DID 𝐓𝐇𝐀𝐓 pic.twitter.com/4LINVWk7nb- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) May 24, 2021
Game 2 between the Knicks and Hawks is on Wednesday morning at 5:00 a.m. IST on League Pass.
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