The Atlanta Hawks finished the 2020-21 regular season with a flourish, winning their final four games. That extended the team’s home winning streak to eleven — the longest active home winning streak in the NBA — and, in the process, secured a Southeast Division title and the No. 5 seed in the upcoming Eastern Conference Playoffs. Credit for the strong finish can and should be attributed to many individuals, but Atlanta’s franchise centerpiece was honored with a league-wide award on Monday afternoon.
Trae Young was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the period of May 10 through May 16. In that four-game sample, Young averaged 24.3 points per game on 47.1 percent shooting, and he contributed 8.5 assists in 29.0 minutes per game. It is the third time Young has earned Player of the Week honors, with the first two awards arriving in 2019.
Considering Young’s week-long numbers include the season finale in which he played only the first half as a tune-up for the playoffs, his performance is all the more impressive. Young scored 36 points, generated nine assists and grabbed six rebounds in the first game of the week, helping to lead Atlanta to a 125-124 win over the Washington Wizards. Then, he produced 33 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in a follow-up effort against Washington before scoring 18 points and picking up seven more assists (in only 26 minutes) against the Magic.
Young finished the 2020-21 regular season second in the NBA in assists, averaging 9.4 per game, and he also cracked the top 15 in scoring, averaging 25.3 points per contest. He was also the only player in the NBA to eclipse 25 points and nine assists per game.