Trae Young feels that a slow start basically cost him the Rookie of the Year last season, and came into the 2019-20 campaign determined to impress right out of the gate.
Mission accomplished: Young has torched the Detroit Pistons (38 points, seven rebounds and nine assists) and Orlando Magic (39 points, seven rebounds and nine assists) to kick things off for the 2-0 Atlanta Hawks.
The explosive 21-year-old guard says a summer of hard work is “paying off right now.”
Per The AJC:
“The stars shine brightest in those type of moments,” Young said of his play in the final minutes. “That’s what makes the big-time players who they are. They step up in those moments for their team and it helps them win. So for me, it’s just the mentality you have to have. And for me, I feel like I have it.”
Young attributes his strong start to work he put in during the offseason, and also growing more comfortable in the league in Year 2.
“I put in a lot of work this summer and just for me, going into my second year, I knew what to really work on,” Young said. “Going in as a rookie is kind of hard, you don’t know what to expect. You just go in there with an open mind. But going into my second year I knew what I needed to get better at and I did it, and my hard work is paying off right now.”
Remaining the NBA’s leading scorer certainly isn’t the focus for Young.
“Hell nah,” Young said when asked if being the league’s leading scorer is his goal. “That’s not my goal. I don’t care about all that. I’m just caring, focusing on winning.”