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Trae Young acts as if he were a great archer. Bucks should leave it to him.


As for Milwaukee Bucks star Janice Adetokumpo, there is much debate about whether he will take too many three pointers at the expense of his true strengths, including his paint advantage.

It’s a worthwhile debate, but it’s also worth asking if Bucks should turn that debate to Trae Young in Atlanta after Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, which explosively equalized the compelling Best 7 Series. ..

Bucks cleared the game in the first half and ran 20-0 for a 125-91 victory. The way they won wasn’t exactly basketball rocket science. They made 3 pointers with high clips. In the first half, Milwaukee shot 10-18 from the depths and didn’t look back. Many of those shots were open and weren’t much different from what Bucks looked like, which wasn’t in Game 1.

When the border opened in Game 2, he relentlessly attacked the rim in both transitions and post-ups, expanding the lane of Antetokunpo, who finished with 25 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists in 29 minutes.

Bucks also confused Young by playing Young more physically. In particular, Milwaukee used that length to block the overtaking lane, driving Young into nine turnovers. Jrue Holiday, an elite border defender, was more aggressive in containing Young, especially off-screen.

“They picked up their pressure and strength,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said after the match. “They played more urgently. I thought Jrue kept focusing on Trae and did nothing but contain the ball and stay there.”

Young took responsibility without hesitation.

“It’s all in me,” Young said. “I have to take good care of the ball and at least do a better job of giving us shots. 9 turnovers. I have to do better. , And I’ll do the next game better. “

Young has another issue that doesn’t seem to get much attention beyond sales, where he may have something in common with Antetokunpo.

Antetokunpo won Game 2 3-0 from outside the border. And TNT’s Reggie Miller yelled at Antetokunpo on the air for taking those wide open shots, saying he was bail out the Hawks’ defenses. This is the theme throughout the Antetokunpo playoff run. In the second round of this year’s match against Nets, every time Antetokunpo looked open at Barclays Center, the crowd shouted out in hopes of him hitting a shot.

Miller and Netz fans were crazy about something. Given his strength near the edge, these are not great shots for Antetokunpo. But in today’s NBA, there aren’t many shots of the three long jumps in the game.

Young, who has the greatest confidence in long range shooting, is one example. His confidence is part of what makes him such a great player and why the Hawks unexpectedly made it to the finals of the conference. However, there is increasing evidence that Young’s three-point fire is about as problematic as Antetokunpo’s three-point fire. Because he took more of them and didn’t knock them down consistently.

Young and his teammates struggled from 3 in Game 2 and finished 9 in 3 to 36. Young became 1 at 8. One make-up was a quick release that deserved highlights after the holiday crossover. That’s it for Young. If he succeeds, he does it in a flashy way, making it easy to forget seven mistakes. It’s easy to choke this until a bad night. But in Game 1, when Young skillfully poured in 48 points, what he didn’t notice much was that he shot 4 from 3 to 13.

OK, it’s two bad shooting nights — from at least three. It happens. But if you zoom out and look at Young’s history as a shooter, there’s a hole. Young didn’t shoot well in three out of seven games against the Philadelphia 76ers in the semi-finals. It was 32.3% in almost 9 games. Opening round with Knicks: 34.1% in 5 games.

Young has shot more than 204 career regular season games, shooting only 3 to 34.3%. That’s not very good for anyone in his career who has made an average of 7 or more 3 point attempts per game.

Part of this is the 3 second difficulty Young takes. As a major ball handler, Young is good at making shots for others, but rarely makes shots for him. This means that many of his three-point shots are out of chin-ups and stepbacks, and rarely out of catch and shoot. They are also frequently contested.

Young certainly looks like part of a great 3-point shooter: his shape resembles that of Curry. He is a great free throw shooter (88.6% during the regular season). And he is often actively defended as if it were a consistent threat as an archer.But he is Many in one.

During the regular season, when the closest defender was more than 6 feet away from Young, he shot only 39.6 percent of the field. During the playoffs entering Friday, that number was slightly worse at 38.2 percent. (Curry was 48.9% during the regular season. LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers was 45.2% and Durant was 56.3%.)

This is an argument that the enemy team sometimes protects Young in the same way that it protects Antetokunpo. Encourage him to take deeper shots, especially step backs. Give him more space and put up a defensive wall around the rim. Young complements the shot by skillful ball handling in paint and reaching the free throw line. Young uses finesse while Antetokunpo is bullying the way to the basket. One of Young’s best weapons is the floater, who often unfolds it out of pick and roll and sees the Bucks giant come back to coverage. On Friday, Young was 5-8 within the 3-point line.

Simply put, Bucks should advise Young to take shots that he doesn’t normally take and not to take shots that he normally takes. Giving him more space to operate on the outside may help neutralize his skill in destroying defenses to reach the rim. The downside is that this leaves a lot of space for other Atlanta shooters as well. But Young is good at finding them anyway when he gets into painting easily.

Young is a deeper threat than Antetokunpo, who shot 3 to 30.3 percent during the regular season. But to some extent, shooting was a weakness in Young’s career. Don’t be afraid to abuse Bucks as the series heads to Atlanta on Sunday.

Young seems to think he is a good long range shooter. Don’t blame him for the concept.

Trae Young acts as if he were a great archer. Bucks should leave it to him.

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