Atlanta's Trae Young shines in first trip to NBA playoffs

Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young (11) passes the ball against New York Knicks' Derrick Rose (4) and Obi Toppin (1) during the first half in Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Sunday, May 30, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

ATLANTA (AP) - When the Atlanta Hawks were excluded from the bubble last summer, Trae Young stewed at home.

He watched games on television, enviously tweeted about what he was missing, and longingly visualized what it would be like to play a starring role when it really matters in the NBA.

Now, he's got his chance.

Talk about rising to the occasion.

Young has joined an extremely rare group of point guards and guided the Hawks to a 3-1 lead in their opening-round playoff series against the New York Knicks.

Atlanta will try to wrap it up Wednesday night in Game 5 at Madison Square Garden, where a fan spit on Young as he inbounded the ball the last time he was in New York.

No worries on Young's end. That just shows how much he's gotten under the skin of the Knicks and their fans.