Luka Doncic and Trae Young forever linked: Timeline of their paths crossing

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Trae Young
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Trae Young / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Trae Young and Hawks reach conference finals as Luka Doncic exits in 1st round

Luka made his second All-Star start in 2021 as Trae Young missed the team, but it was the Hawks who got the last laugh during their third NBA season. Atlanta broke a three-year playoff drought as they finished the regular season at 41-31, which was the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference. Young helped the Hawks upset the Knicks and Sixers in the postseason to reach the conference finals.

It was an unexpected run that further proved how special Trae Young is on the floor. The Hawks may need to hide him on defense, but he is one of the most dynamic offensive players in the league. Atlanta lost to the eventual-champion Milwaukee Bucks in the conference finals. It took nothing away from their impressive play to get there, and it had fans rethinking the Luka Doncic versus Trae Young debate.

Dallas reached the playoffs for the second straight, and the Clippers bounced them in the first round again. Luka Doncic again took his game to another level, and the Mavericks were so close to pulling the upset. It took two otherworldly performances from Kawhi Leonard to knock out number 77 and the Mavs in seven games.

Doncic averaged 35.7 points, 10.3 assists, and 7.9 rebounds per game during that series as he shot 49.0 percent from the field and 40.8 percent on his 3-point tries. There was no questioning Luka’s greatness after this series, but Young led his team on a playoff run. The debate between the two players was back on, and it was not going away.