It's hard to boil down four games to a single possession, but if you wanted to tell the story of the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks' series — one in which the Heat are a win away from a gentleman's sweep — look no further than a late-second ]-quarter stretch from Game 4.
It starts with PJ Tucker picking up Trae Young from the inbound. Clint Capela steps up to set a screen from the logo — generally a good thing during the Young Era, but in this case, it simply brings Bam Adebayo into the frame.
Young doesn't want that — Adebayo has switched onto him 16 times in this series; Young has passed out of the matchup 11 times per Second Spectrum. Naturally, Trae calls for another screen to loosen things up.
But this one brings Jimmy Butler into the mix.
Young attempts to attack Butler, but doesn't have much success. Not only does Butler do a great job of bodying him up, Adebayo is chilling at the nail, ready to pounce if the handle gets loose.
With Adebayo dropping down to the nail, the kick-out to Bogdan Bogdanovic is technically there. Young kicks it to Bogdanovic, but Adebayo recovers and stifles his drive. Similar to the help he provided to Butler, Max Strus does the same. Bogdanovic then kicks it to Kevin Huerter with the shot clock winding down. Forced to make lemonade out of lemons, he drives against Strus.
But Tucker is there to help. And Butler's there to help behind Tucker, capping the possession with a steal.
If that was exhausting to read, imagine being tasked with generating good offense against that kind of pressure. Just look at this, man.
Young hasn't been having a good time in this series. He's averaging 16.5 points on 48.8% True Shooting. He has as many assists (24) as he does turnovers. A 21.2% clip from three is well below his level, and that's exacerbated by the fact that he's attempted more threes (33) than two-pointers (24).
It's hard to overstate just how much the Heat have thrown Young out of rhythm. One of the deadliest pick-and-roll threats in the league has been neutralized through four contests.
The Hawks are generating a shade under 0.93 points per possession (PPP) on trips featuring a Young pick-and-roll, per Second Spectrum. This may shock you, but this, too, is well below Young's regular season mark (1.06 PPP).
Young's Game 4 was even worse. His overall stat line was bad enough: 9 points (3 of 10 from three, 0 of 1 from two), 5 assists, and 5 turnovers in 35 minutes.
When asked about his three-heavy diet in Game 4, Young gave props to the Heat's pressure and activity.
"If you're watching the game, you'll see that they have five people in the paint when I have the ball," Young stated.
"They're doing a great job of showing help and not letting me get into the paint. If I try to drive by somebody, they're sending a double and forcing me to kick it to my teammates."