Late in Game 1 between the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks, Lou Williams gave Trae Young the perfect advice on what to do before his game-winning dagger.
The Atlanta Hawks lineup doesn’t have much collective playoff experience. The franchise hasn’t gone to the postseason since 2017 and four of the team’s starters had never appeared in a playoff game before Sunday.
Lou Williams, on the other hand, has played in 72 playoff games and 13 series. He’s the guy Trae Young could turn to for advice with seconds left on the clock and a tied Game 1 against the Knicks.
As it turns out, Williams’ suggestion couldn’t have been more perfect.
“I just told him don’t pass the ball,” Williams said. “That was my advice. You trick yourself into thinking you’ve got to make a play. Hey, man, go win the basketball game. This is your team. These guys have put the franchise on your shoulders as well as the other young guys. You’re the point guard. Go win the basketball game.”
Lou Williams encouraged Trae Young to put the game on his shoulders
Young followed Williams’ advice. He kept the ball, dribbled through the Knicks defense and put up a floater to take the lead with 0.9 seconds left on the clock. It silenced the crowd at Madison Square Garden and gave Atlanta a 1-0 series advantage.
The game-winner capped a masterclass by the point guard, proving just how far he’s come as a player. Young had 32 points on 11-of-23 shooting with seven rebounds and 10 assists.
Williams came through with 13 points in 13 minutes, hitting 6-of-9 field goal attempts while dishing two assists. The wily veteran made the most of his limited action.
The Hawks may next turn to Williams for advice about not getting too hyped up over that Game 1 victory. There’s a long way to go in the series.