Trae Young had a rough night.
After watching Young carve them up for 48 points with 11 assists in Game 1, the Bucks adjusted their defense with Brook Lopez coming out higher and Giannis Antetokounmpo and P.J. Tucker cutting off lobs behind him. More importantly, the Bucks played with far more urgency and intensity.
In the face of that, Young struggled: 6-of-16 shooting overall, 1-of-8 from 3, and nine turnovers. The Hawks were blown out, down by 32 at the half and losing by 36.
After the game, Young took the blame for his team’s rough night. Via Royce Young at ESPN:
“That’s all on me,” Young said. “I’ve got to be better at taking care of the ball. And do a better job of at least getting us a shot and not turning it over so much. And I’ve got to do better and I will be better next game…
“They didn’t do nothing too much different,” he said. “They just played more aggressive. [Referee] Scott [Foster] and them allowed more to go tonight. So just got to be better and be able to respond to that better.”
Throughout the playoffs, Young has struggled some when the referees have let the game get more physical, as they tend to do in the postseason. Ben Simmons had success that way for the 76ers, and Jrue Holiday is a more physical defender by nature. Young has to hope that back home in Atlanta for Game 3 the game is called a little tighter.
The Bucks played a much better game, much closer to their best version, in Game 2, which leads to two questions going forward: Can the Bucks sustain that (they haven’t in the past), and how do Young and the Hawks adjust.