One of the biggest stories of the 2021 NBA playoffs continues to be the maturation and utter dominance of Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young. The 22-year-old led the fifth-seeded Hawks past the fourth-seeded New York Knicks in the first round – despite being spit on -, propelled Atlanta to a monumental upset of the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in seven games in the next series, and now has his team up 1-0 on the favored Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals.
But does that mean that Golden State Warriors two-time MVP and future Hall-of-Famer Stephen Curry is ready to pass the torch to Young and the rest of the youthful crop of talented twentysomethings in the NBA? Hardly so, according to Stephen A. Smith.
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In another lively edition of ESPN’s First Take on Thursday, host Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith got into a debate of Steph vs. Trae, and what Kellerman said about Chef Curry could certainly rub Warriors fans the wrong way.
‘[Trae Is] Fearless Under Pressure. Steph Is Careless Under Pressure.’
To be fair, Kellerman wasn’t arguing that Young is the best player or point guard in the NBA, and he certainly wasn’t saying that Young is better than Curry, but here’s how the fireworks began.
Dub Nation is surely going to have issues with some of Kellerman’s views and rightfully so. While Young’s first dose of the postseason has been nothing short of remarkable this spring and early summer, it’s still just that – his first year in the playoffs.
The statistic that Kellerman points out regarding how Curry has never scored 48 points in a Conference Finals game could be considered nit-picky, given that Steph’s Western Conference Finals averages are a phenomenal 29.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game.
Perhaps the biggest argument against what Kellerman said is that in Young’s first playoff run, his team’s second-leading scorer is John Collins at 17.6 points per game.
Curry’s Teammates Rooting for the Hawks in the Playoffs?
Just because Curry and company are watching the NBA Playoffs this year from home instead of competing in them doesn’t mean they can’t appreciate a jaw-dropping performance when they see one. Warriors guard/forward Kent Bazemore knows firsthand just how good Young and some of the other Atlanta players can be, as he was with the club from 2014 to 2019, which included Young’s rookie season.
Also seemingly always active on social media when the Dubs aren’t in action is Draymond Green and he too had some things to say about the Hawks’ Game One upset.
Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Hawks and Bucks is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. on Friday.