When you’re an up-and-coming star in the NBA and trying to make your mark, you want to put on a show every chance you get. That means pulling up from way beyond the three-point line, putting someone on a poster, or taking a hapless defender off the dribble with a dazzling ball-handling display.
Trae Young does at least two of the above on a regular basis. That’s what makes the Hawks’ All-Star point guard so entertaining to watch. But because Atlanta has been wallowing at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings all season, that means they have to seize their opportunities to get on the highlight wherever they can find them.
On Saturday night against the visiting Blazers, however, a potential highlight quickly went south when Young picked the wrong person to try some funny business on. With the Hawks up big, Young tried what has become a signature move for him, nutmegging Trevor Ariza on the break, but the veteran forward quickly put a stop to that with a hockey-esque check into the first row and a subsequent Flagrant 1.
Trae went for a nutmeg vs. Trevor Ariza, and well… pic.twitter.com/XP2A6XjP1y
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) March 1, 2020
Still, after the game, there appeared to be no hard feelings as they hugged it out at midcourt.
No hard feelings pic.twitter.com/ZDo9Lh3EFP
— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) March 1, 2020
When asked what he said to Young, Ariza simply said that he issued a friendly reminder that he’s not one to be trifled with.
Trevor Ariza was not a fan of Trae Young’s nutmeg. pic.twitter.com/YVAeBQovw2
— ESPN (@espn) March 1, 2020
Despite that, Young posted a somewhat defiant Instagram pic from the incident.
View this post on Instagram
For the Blazers, it was a third straight loss for a team that’s desperately trying to keep within striking distance of the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. For the Hawks, they continue a strong close to the season, which would mark a second straight year where Young and company give fans something to be optimistic about entering the summer.