There is little doubt that the Atlanta Hawks' Conference Finals berth was one of the most surprising developments of the 2021 season.
Even with Trae Young and John Collins, the youth and inexperience of the roster had many people counting them out before the playoffs even began.
But throughout the postseason, Trae Young put on an absolute display, torching the Knicks and Sixers amid a flurry of hate from the opposition.
Amazingly, Young embraced the noise and used the energy as fuel to keep him going and lead the Hawks well past expectations.
Speaking on the young star's showing, and the way he stepped up after being showered with boos, basketball veteran Lou Williams made a pretty memorable quote:
(via Sarah Spencer)
"He should," veteran guard Lou Williams said. "He's very talented. He has the opportunity to lead a franchise. He's very young. There's nothing not to be excited about and not to embrace. He doesn't play for the Knicks. He doesn't play for the Sixers. So they should hate him. He was kicking their (expletive). It is what it is. And he's embraced that, and he's been a hero in Atlanta."
At just 23-years-old, Young has emerged as a shining star in this league. A 1x All-Star and 25-point-per-game scorer, he has proven t9 be among the league's best scorers.
Perhaps the best part about Young's game, however, is his confidence and leadership so far, which has almost single-handedly made the Hawks into a contender in the East.
This past summer, the Hawks didn't do much to improve the state of the roster. For the most part, they seem to be running it back with the same crew they had last season.
But, so long as they have Young, they'll always have a way to be relevant in the East -- which is more than can be said for many of their competitors.