The Trae Young defensive game plan that worked to perfection for the Jazz
Shortly after they outplayed the Hawks at Vivint Smart Home Arena, 116-92, Jazz head coach Quinn Snyder talked about the challenge of trying to slow down a natural scorer of Young’s caliber.
“Everybody that guarded him, primarily Mike and Royce, they were solid. The main thing we talked about was not fouling, showing our hands. … Rudy and Fav [were great] as well, protecting the rim,” Snyder said of the Jazz’s game plan, per Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune.
Prior to facing the Jazz, Trae Young was averaging 24.8 points on 41.6 percent shooting from the field and 29.8 percent from past the arc. But against the daunting Jazz defense, the 22-year-old guard could only muster a season-low four points on a miserable 1-for-11 shooting.
Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce also gave credit to the Jazz’s game plan of stopping his best player. Lloyd acknowledged that Utah took Young out of the ball early and kept the pressure on him for the rest of the night.
Lloyd Pierce on what the Jazz did to slow Trae Young:
“Denied him the entire game, as much as they could. Challenged him to work. Probably frustrated him. Made it difficult to get any entry. He’s used to bringing the ball up and playing, and they took that out.”
— Brad Rowland (@BTRowland) January 16, 2021
Apart from putting the clamps on Trae Young, the Jazz also got it going on the other end of the floor. Donovan Mitchell put up a game-high 26 points followed by Bodgan Bogdanovic’s 17 markers. Jordan Clarkson, Rudy Gobert, Mike Conley Jr., and Georges Niang all scored in double-figures as well.
Opposing defenses, meanwhile, are now keying in on Young following that amazing sophomore season he enjoyed last year. The Hawks dropped to 5-6 after coming out of the gates hot at the beginning of the campaign. For sure, Trae would be looking for a bounce-back game against the Portland Trail Blazers in their next outing.