Trae Young's Collapse in Game 5 Loss vs. Heat Proves Hawks Aren't Ready for Spotlight

Doric SamApril 27, 2022

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 26: Clint Capela #15 and Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks react against the Miami Heat during the first half in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round at FTX Arena on April 26, 2022 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

After last year's run to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Atlanta Hawks entered the 2021-22 season with hopes of proving they weren't a fluke team.

But after star point guard Trae Young's disappointing performance in the Hawks' first-round playoff series against the Miami Heat, it's clear that the team is not prepared for the spotlight.

Young's disappearing act continued in Tuesday's Game 5 as he scored just 11 points while the Hawks lost 97-94 to be eliminated from the postseason. Young shot 2-of-12 from the field, his second straight game shooting under 30 percent. The sharpshooter missed all five of his three-point attempts, and he even uncharacteristically picked up a technical foul in the fourth quarter. It was a surprise to see a star player put forth an effort like that in a close-out game.

The 23-year-old failed to figure out Miami's defense in five games, averaging just 15.4 points after ranking fourth in the NBA with 28.4 points per game in the regular season. Young's ice-cold showing in this series was not the type of play that earned him his "Ice Trae" nickname.

Of course, most of the commentary online about Tuesday's game surrounded Young's struggles.

John Hollinger @johnhollinger

This series has been a full-on nightmare for Trae Young.

Chris Kirschner @ChrisKirschner

What a brutal series for Trae Young.

SportsTalkATL.com @SportsTalkATL

I’ve never seen Trae Young so cold over a stretch of games

Josh Eberley 🇨🇦 @JoshEberley

No Kyle Lowry, no Jimmy Butler, Trae Young made two shots??? Couldn’t even get a shot off for a chance at the tie?

ParakHEAT Cortes @Ryan_Cortes

Trae Young has 5 points on 1 of 7 shooting and the Hawks are down 12 in the most important game of their season with Jimmy and Kyle not even playing. If you said Trae was the best player in this series or that the Hawks would WIN it you should have your credentials revoked

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang

Trae Young with 29 assists and 29 turnovers in the series.


Trae Young is having a tough night in Game 5. <a href="https://t.co/ikKJUPIv89">pic.twitter.com/ikKJUPIv89</a>


The Heat have Trae Young looking like he never played basketball in his life

HTB ♨️ @HenryTheBlasian

Can someone get Deandre Hunter some HELP. Trae Young having an All-Time stinker of a first round my goodness.


Oh yea Trae Young just hit the side of the backboard on a open 3. Its wraps!

Big Cat @BarstoolBigCat

Trae Young heating up <a href="https://t.co/02A6yxjY48">pic.twitter.com/02A6yxjY48</a>

Hoop Central @TheHoopCentral

Trae Young tonight:<br><br>11 Points<br>16% FG<br>0/5 3PM<br>6 Turnovers <a href="https://t.co/uITNlmOBUZ">pic.twitter.com/uITNlmOBUZ</a>

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds

Trae Young in this series: 32% shooting, 30 assists, 30 turnovers.

Brad Townsend @townbrad

Speaking of Not Playoff Luka, Trae Young just finished his postseason with averages of 15.4 points, 31.8% field goal shooting and 7-of-38 3-point shooting (18.4%). <br><br>Shocking drop-off from 28.8 and 9.5 assists in last year's playoffs. Heat defense is tough, but this tough?

StatMuse @statmuse

Trae Young finished this playoffs with more turnovers (30) than baskets (22). <a href="https://t.co/jY9lyi3P5l">pic.twitter.com/jY9lyi3P5l</a>

Young has been the focal point of Atlanta's offense since he entered the league four years ago, but it's clear that he can't do it all by himself. De'Andre Hunter led the team with 35 points and 11 rebounds, but he was the only Hawks player to play well Tuesday.

The Hawks can't be considered an elite team with only Young leading the way. Atlanta will need to surround him with more talent if it hopes to be a contender in the Eastern Conference next year.