Phoenix Suns: 3 Ways to Shut Down Trae Young and Beat Atlanta Hawks

Phoenix Suns. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns, Frank Kaminsky
Phoenix Suns, Frank Kaminsky. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

How the Phoenix Suns Slow Down Trae Young: Big Men Stay Mobile

Recognizing Ice Trae’s long range shooting skills, the Hawks often begin their offensive sets with high screens either from Clint Capela or John Collins. This frees him up first to either attack the rim, or launch up a 3-pointer.

The Suns cannot allow the Hawks to run this chess move without resisting, needing their bigs to follow their man out to the top of the key and crowd the screen. From that point on though, things get trickier.

If the applied screen does well to seperate Young from Chris Paul or Elfrid Payton, then whichever big rises up needs to stay on his toes and switch onto Young to prevent an easy shot. Given Young’s ball handling skills though, whichever big that does this needs to move quickly, and do their best to stay with him at the same time.

But with the high-flying abilities of Capela and Collins also considered, Phoenix’s bigs need to simultaneously watch out for them rolling to the basket, where Young often hits them for alley-oop finishes. For that reason as well, Phoenix’s bigs must stay mobile and adjust within a moment’s notice.

Even if the Suns make their switches strategically, their bigs will either need to keep up with the rolling Collins/Capela, or Young himself around the 3-point arc all game.

This represents a tough scenario to deal with across all fronts, but that’s what a high octane player like Young does to you. Unfortunately with Ayton out, this likely falls onto JaVale McGee’s and Frank Kaminsky’s shoulders, which might make things even more difficult as well.