For the third straight series in the 2021 playoffs, the Atlanta Hawks have won Game 1 on the road. Against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Conference Finals, they needed a performance for the ages from Young to do so.
The 22-year franchise superstar put on a show in Milwaukee, dropping a playoff career-high 48 points and dishing out 11 assists in the 116-113 win.
MORE: Young joins LeBron with historic Game 1 performance
He dazzled with his handles, floaters and even his assists whether that's behind-the-back, bounce passes or off-the-backboard alley-oops.
https://t.co/ZP2PnSlTeJ pic.twitter.com/C852gGg2YQ- Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 24, 2021
However, by far, the play of the game was his 'shimmy'.
He first lost Jrue Holiday with a crossover after he rejected John Collins' screen. Then, with Holiday lost and Bobby Portis in drop coverage, Young had plenty of time to shoot his shot.
In that extra time, he pulled off a little 'shimmy' and then calmly knocked down the 3-pointer.
EVERY ANGLE of @TheTraeYoung's crossover, shimmy and triple! #ThatsGame 🥶- NBA (@NBA) June 24, 2021
48 PTS for Trae as the @ATLHawks take a 1-0 lead in the #NBAECF presented by AT&T.
Game 2: Friday at 8:30pm/et on TNT pic.twitter.com/39w2vHa50m
The three was part of Young's 12-point, four-assist third-quarter, a period the Hawks outscored the Bucks 34-26.
"I had a lot of time," Young began explaining his 'shimmy' postgame.
"I got a little second to get a deep breathe and knock it down."- NBA TV (@NBATV) June 24, 2021
Trae Young on hitting his shimmy three vs. the Bucks pic.twitter.com/4AuDtau0I2
As you will hear on commentary, the shimmy took Hall of Famers Marv Albert and Reggie Miller by surprise. It took everyone by surprise - his teammates and even his opponents including two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
MORE: Twitter reactions - NBA players praise Young
"He's just having fun, enjoying the game," Antetokounmpo said postgame about not taking the shimmy personally.
"Obviously, I wouldn't want him to make the shot but he's having fun, enjoying the game and we are going to do the same as a team. There are going to be times when Bryn or Jrue might shimmy or whatever the case might be or I might mean mug, it's just part of the game. Can't take that personally."
Giannis told his teammates about the Trae Young shimmy 🗣 pic.twitter.com/jpFMPewxE1- Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 24, 2021
While the Greek Freak cooly played it off, Young's teammate Kevin Huerter was as amazed as all of us.
"I think we were thinking the same thing that you guys were: 'Did he really just do that?'" - Huerter said postgame. "I'll never do it in the Conference Finals ... maybe in the second game next season, or something like that."
Hawks head coach Nate McMillan had nothing but praise for Young's overall performance as he continues to impress on the big stage.
"I think he just has the skills that these top players have in this league," McMillan said postgame. "You have to put him with the top guys in the league."
If Young continues delivering games like these, which he has for much of the 2021 playoffs - his debut postseason, this Conference Finals is going to be a long series. After stealing Game 1, the Hawks will look to extend that advantage with Game 2 scheduled after just a day off.
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