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, Devin Booker
Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

How the Phoenix Suns Slow Down Trae Young: Put the “New Rule” Into Practice

Other than James Harden, no player looks more targeted by the NBA’s new ruling against “non-basketball” moves than Young right now. As someone who spent years baiting his defenders into fouls, the league’s decision to no longer award Young with free throws after doing so has frustrated him to say the least.

Phoenix needs to take advantage of this, and bully Young with their physicality. Young clearly stands unadjusted to this brand of defense, and that makes him somewhat vulnerable.

By no means should the Suns go out and try to hurt Young, but if he says that some refs have “swallowed their whistles” when watching him play, the Suns would be foolish to not test his theory. Bump him off the drive, bash him down low, and throw your weight around any chance you get with Young holding the rock.

At the same time though, if the game’s officials begin to offer Young some calls, Phoenix’s defense needs to remain versatile and stay ready to dial things back. Last year, Young shot 92.0 percent from the line, so you do not want to usher him over to the charity stripe all game either.

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The Suns just need to feel things out a bit, look at how long their leash goes for, and then attack accordingly.