Trae Young

Trae Young must be prepared for scrutiny

Trae Young hasn’t even hit the regular season yet and he’s experiencing the heat of the critics. It’s early and after being under the bright lights at the collegiate level, he must be ready for what’s coming next.

Young had a couple of nights where he struggled shooting the ball during NBA Summer League. With those struggles came the critics questioning his game, shot selection, and his readiness for the NBA. This is nothing that he hasn’t seen before but he must understand that those critics and talks will be elevated at this level. Similar to his days at Oklahoma, when he’s hot and hitting, everyone will be on board and the highlight kings of social media will love him. But when he has those poor shooting nights, they’re going to be quick to kill his game.

The name that we’ve constantly heard associated with Young has been Stephen Curry. The comparisons make sense when you look at their styles of play but I think the comparisons hurt Young more than they help him. Curry came into the league with no one to compare to. He was always known as a shooter but we’ve never seen anyone who could shoot off the dribble as he could.

The two-time MVP built and perfected his own style of play and created his own lane. The one thing that Young can learn from Curry is how he improved other parts of his game. The Golden State point guard does a lot of things well but his immaculate shooting overshadows them all. He plays the passing lanes well, he’s a great passer, a great finisher at the rim and within their style of offense, he’s creates so many opportunities with and without the ball.

Curry didn’t have quite the hype that Young had coming out of college. The hype is a gift and a curse because it helps with exposure but it also puts your game under a microscope and places expectations on your game. For the young rookie going forward, he has to put on his blinders and just play his game.

Hopefully, Atlanta gives him the green light to play his game. The ability to take long contested threes at no consequence. At the same time, Young has to execute as well. He was capable and able to take and make those type of shots at the collegiate level but we all know the NBA is a different animal.

Going into his rookie year, he has to be strong-willed and able to handle the criticism. He has seemed to be able to do so thus far however, professionals are held to a higher standard. Turnovers and not getting back on defense will have him seated on the bench very quickly. Young has to play a complete game and stay focused on the task at hand. He has to be aware of the critique that’s going to follow him but as a young kid entering the league, it’s important that he doesn’t invest too much in what the others are saying.

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