Trae Young can learn an important lesson from Stephen Curry’s relentless off-ball movement – Sporting News

Welcome to “Summer Workout Plan, ” our annual offseason series in which we dive into a specific area for improvement with regard to certain players to take the next step in their development.  

First up this offseason? Two-time All-Star Trae Young.

The Hawks are going to look quite different next season.

After the Heat made light work of them within the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the particular Hawks produced a big move in acquiring Dejounte Murray from the Spurs for, essentially, a bunch of first-round picks .

The Hawks are still very much Trae Young’s team, but trading for Murray signals a couple of things. One, Atlanta is focused on improving defensively after slipping all the way down to 26th in defensive efficiency this particular season. Two, it wants to pair Young with another All-Star who can take some of the playmaking burden, which has gotten quite heavy , off of his shoulders.

While Young and Murray have the makings of a dynamic duo , there are some concerns about the fit between  two guards that are at their best when they possess the ball. It doesn’t help that Murray is a career 33. 0 percent 3-point shooter plus Young has developed the reputation of not being the most active player off-ball.

For Murray, it’s somewhat simple — he has to become a more reliable spot-up shooter. For Younger, it’s a little more complicated.

TRADE GRADES: Did Hawks or Spurs win Murray deal?

Is Young already capable of playing off-ball? As their father made crystal clear , yes. If nothing else, he’s a knockdown standstill present shooter, having converted 41. 7 percent associated with his catch-and-shoot 3s since entering the NBA.  

Young will be not someone the defense can help from.

Will be there still room regarding Young to improve as an off-ball threat? Also yes.

The person Youthful can greatest learn from is somebody he offers been compared to time and time again in his career: Stephen Curry. In addition to the deep 3s and ability in order to pull up through anywhere on a dime, a key part of  Curry’s case as the greatest shooter of all time is their relentless movement when this individual doesn’t have got the golf ball in his hands.

Not only is Curry as good as it gets in scoring away from screens…

… but his willingness to set screens himself creates countless opportunities intended for his teammates.

It’s not unusual to see 2 defenders gravitate towards Curry when he or she sets a screen out of fear of him getting a slither of daylight, leading to backdoor cuts and layups.

Many words were written   by yours truly this time of year about how difficult and exhausting Curry is usually to defend. He never stops moving.

MORE:   Has Curry entered the particular all-time top 10?

To be clear, expecting anyone to do either associated with those things at the same level as Curry is unreasonable. Just because someone is definitely an effective spot-up player with the dice doesn’t necessarily mean they can operate off of screens, and there are few — if any — players in the NBA who are able to match Curry’s conditioning. If it were easy, lots of gamers would do it.

The difference with Young is that he has shown enough flashes to think they could be the bigger part of his game. Maybe not the screening — the particular 21 pounds Curry provides on Young comes in handy when standing his ground against bigger players — yet certainly the scoring from screens.

Young’s speed makes him hard to keep up with upon those plays and he is shown the ability to read displays at a high level, manipulating them depending on how their defender can be guarding him.

It looks like Tyrese Haliburton is certainly expecting a handoff here, so Younger quickly switches gears:

He’s also the versatile shooter. Close away on your pet too hard, and he’ll side-step his way into an open 3 or attack the basket for a high-arching floater .

According to NBA. com , Young attempted only 17 shots off of screens the entire 2021-22 period, but the results were highly encouraging: 1 . 42 points per possession, ranking him in the particular 97. 2 percentile.

“Working off the ball is something that I’m pretty great at anyway, ” Youthful said following Atlanta’s loss to Miami. “I know how to come off displays and get in to the paint and find others. Working off-ball is pretty similar, it’s probably easier than working upon the basketball. I know how to get it done.

“I believe it’s really just about putting the right system for me to become from the ball. ”

In case Young will be as willing as this individual says he is, taking a page out of Curry’s book will go a long way within him plus Murray reaching their full potential and the Hawks returning in order to the top of the Eastern Conference.

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