“What will Trae Young do in the playoffs?” has been the question hanging over his young (sorry) career ever since he was drafted.

Even those that praised Young for his strengths often noted that his weaknesses could be prone to exploitation in a playoff series where opponents were more likely to seek out Young on the defensive end of the floor. (There were also plenty of reasonable questions as to how Young’s offensive game would translate, especially against a Tom Thibodeau defense.)

Today’s opening game between the Hawks and the Knicks gave us our first data point, and while Young did struggle a bit on defense (as you’d expect), he was stellar on offense: 32 points, 10 assists, and only two turnovers. Young also did that damage despite only hitting one three-point attempt.

No points were more important than his last two, though. With a tie game and the chance to take the last shot, Young delivered out of a timeout, and then let the Garden know about it.

The Knicks botched their ATO play with 0.9 seconds left, and that was the game. That’s a hell of a way to make your presence felt in your first postseason game.

It was obviously more than just that one play, but clutch playoff moments tend to be the memories that stick out for fans, and most especially stick out for media members who do a lot of the mythmaking that tends to be prevalent when it comes to evaluating NBA stars.

Also, Young got quite a soft whistle for a visiting player at Madison Square Garden in the postseason, which will almost certainly be a topic heading into Game 2. On two late plays it looked like there was either no contact or that Young had created the contact, but he got both calls (and one was upheld after a Knicks challenge) and those three points gained made a huge difference in the outcome.

A fun game though, and this could be one of the more entertaining series of the first round.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.