Trae Young Leads Hawks to Huge Comeback vs. Aaron Holiday, Pacers

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2018

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 11:  Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks shoots the ball against the Indiana Pacers during the 2018 Las Vegas Summer League on July 11, 2018 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

Apparently, no NBA Summer League lead is safe with Trae Young on the floor.

The Atlanta Hawks rookie propelled his team to a dramatic 107-101 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday in Las Vegas, overcoming a 27-point second-half deficit in the process. Young led the Hawks down the stretch, and his team outscored Indiana by 19 points in the fourth quarter alone to secure the win.

Young finished with 23 points, eight assists and two steals behind 7-of-14 shooting from the field and 2-of-7 from deep.

Tyler Dorsey was impressive for the Hawks as well with 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists, but it is Young who attracted much of the attention considering his status as the No. 5 overall pick in the draft and someone Atlanta was willing to trade Luka Doncic for on draft day.

Young will be one of the rookies under the brightest spotlights this season after he led the nation in points (27.4) and assists (8.7) per game as a consensus All-American at Oklahoma, and his full set of skills were on display Wednesday.

His willingness to launch from deep drew comparisons to Stephen Curry, and while he was just 2-of-7 from three-point range against the Pacers, the defense was forced to respect his perimeter game. That opened up lanes to either attack the basket or hit teammates with impressive passes:

There are still concerns about his overall efficiency considering he shot just 33.0 percent from the field in the first three summer league games and averaged 5.2 turnovers per game in college, but he didn't have a single turnover in the fourth quarter during the comeback (five for the game) and worked to create ideal shots for himself and teammates.

He wasn't the only marquee rookie point guard on the floor, as it appeared Aaron Holiday—who Indiana selected with the No. 23 pick—was going to lead the Pacers to the win.

The UCLA product posted 13 points, nine assists and three steals, demonstrating his quickness in transition and willingness to finish through contact in the lane. However, he was the one with efficiency issues in the matchup with Young and was an ugly 5-of-17 from the field as Indiana failed to put the Hawks away after building such a formidable lead.

Still, Holiday gives the Pacers another talented ball-handler, which they could have used in the playoffs last season when the Cleveland Cavaliers sent double-teams at Victor Oladipo and forced Indiana to play unbalanced with its best player smothered.

He will need to bolster his efficiency to be a significant part of the rotation (36 percent from the field in his previous three summer league games), but he gives the Pacers another weapon in an Eastern Conference that is suddenly far more open after LeBron James joined the Los Angeles Lakers.

Wednesday's contest was the first summer league tournament game for the Pacers and Hawks after they each went 1-2 in their first three contests. It was Young's side that prevailed and took the first step toward taking home a title in Las Vegas.

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