Grayson Allen isn’t normally the one who ends up on the ground after a questionable physical play. But Trae Young made sure Allen got a taste of his own medicine Saturday night.
Young, the Hawks’ third-year guard, gave Allen a shove at the end of a drive as Atlanta played the Grizzlies in Memphis. That led to a brief scuffle, although other players were quick to get in between Young and Allen, who could only let each other hear it over their teammates’ shoulders.
Allen was involved in plenty of controversy for his extracurricular activities while a star at Duke. On multiple occasions, he appeared to intentionally trip an opposing player. Allen has also never been shy about throwing his head back on a drive and flopping to try to earn a call from the officials.
He didn’t have to flop Saturday. One official could be seen calling a foul about when Allen took his first dribble as he began a drive to his left. Allen took one more dribble before stumbling, and as he lost his balance, Young appeared to put both hands on Allen’s back and shove him away.
While a referee got to Allen first to keep him out of the fray, Memphis wing Dillon Brooks was the first to Young. Atlanta’s other players quickly rushed over to protect their star point guard, and tensions were quickly defused while Young continued to talk as he walked away.
Saturday’s game was the final preseason contest for both teams. Young is entering his third NBA season as one of the league’s best dual-threat guards, able to both score and pass with the best of them. Allen is also entering his third season in the league, his second with the Grizzlies after being drafted by the Jazz.
The squads will open their regular seasons on Wednesday night, but this energy could return as soon as a week from Saturday when they meet again in Memphis.