David Liam Kyle/Getty Images
The Cleveland Cavaliers still haven’t won a game since LeBron James left.
Cleveland fell to the Atlanta Hawks, 133-111, in Sunday’s game at Quicken Loans Arena. Atlanta is now 1-2, while the Cavaliers fell to 0-3.
The game was advertised as a showdown between rookie point guards Trae Young (No. 5 pick) and Collin Sexton (No. 8 pick), and Young had the clear upper hand with 35 points and 11 assists behind six three-pointers and 13-of-23 shooting from the field. Sexton countered with four points on 2-of-11 shooting.
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
What a game for the rook @TheTraeYoung 🔥
35 PTS (6 threes)
Future is bright. https://t.co/MdN7zSGRMZ
Young’s Status as Hawks’ Best Player Makes Him ROY Front-Runner
Young is going to be under the spotlight all season after leading the nation in points (27.4) and assists (8.7) per game during his one collegiate campaign at Oklahoma.
And he’s going to deliver with monster numbers.
Young’s full arsenal was on display against the Cavs, as he showed off his range extending to the parking lot, playmaking ability off the dribble and vision when dishing out assists in half-court sets. He caught fire in the second quarter and gave the Hawks a four-point halftime lead after they fell behind by double digits in the early going.
Adam Fromal @fromal09
This game is selling me on Trae Young. His passing vision is so advanced for his age/experience level, and he’s creating more space to shoot than I thought he would early on in the pros (if ever).
Gerald Bourguet @GeraldBourguet
Trae Young is just as fun as I hoped he’d be so far. This season is going to be a long one, so ride these highs, Hawks fans
Dan Wolken @DanWolken
Too bad Trae Young’s career ended in the Salt Lake Summer League, according to NBA Twitter.
Atlanta is not going to contend in the Eastern Conference, so the 2018-19 campaign is all about Young developing as a franchise building block. He has freedom with the ball and green lights for shots most rookies only dream of, and he built on the 20 points and nine assists he put up against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.
A direct comparison to his rookie counterpart in Sunday’s contest underscores why Young will be a significant factor in the Rookie of the Year race all season.
Sexton didn’t start and has to default to a number of veterans in Love, JR Smith, Tristan Thompson, Rodney Hood and Jordan Clarkson. He doesn’t get anywhere near the opportunities to take the game over on an individual basis that Young does on a poor Hawks roster, and many rookies will be in similar situations across the league (such as Deandre Ayton with Devin Booker or Luka Doncic with Dirk Nowitzki and DeAndre Jordan).
That will clear the way for Young to put up numbers they can’t match.
Both teams have home games Wednesday, with the Hawks hosting the Dallas Mavericks and the Cavaliers hosting the Brooklyn Nets.
This article will be updated to provide more information soon.
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