Atlanta Hawks head coach Nate McMillan praised forward Kevin Huerter for his remarkable performance in the side's 103-96 Game 7 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.
Huerter stepped up to score a team-high 27 points, while Trae Young erred with his shooting, as the Hawks booked a spot in the Eastern Conference finals against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The 22-year-old had struggled for impact in the series but shone in the decider, shooting 10-from-18 from the field, including two three-pointers, with three assists and a steal.
"Kevin came out tonight and was very aggressive," McMillan said.
"We pretty much fed the hot hand. Our guards, Trae and Lou [Williams], did a good job of calling the game and keeping Kevin involved.
"He did a great job of making plays for us tonight. We needed that. He came through. He really struggled last game shooting the ball but we believe in him.
"We wanted those guys to stay aggressive. No hesitation. Tonight he came up big for us."
Fearless. pic.twitter.com/fgmTNhQrrt— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 21, 2021
Young put up his worst display of the series in Game 7, only managing five-from-23 from the field, shooting at 21.7 per cent.
McMillan felt Young still contributed, ending with 10 assists but also hailed a side which does not rely on one player.
"Trusting in other guys and trusting in our game plan," he said. "Trae, we wanted him to be aggressive. His shot wasn’t falling but he got the ball to some other guys and they were able to make some plays.
"Kevin led us tonight. Galo [Daniro Gallinari] did a good job tonight. John Collins continues to be consistent. I thought Clint [Capela] did an outstanding job of guarding Embiid.
"It was a team effort. One guy didn’t shoot the ball well, but other guys we trusted. They came through for us."
The Hawks will take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks in the Conference finals starting on Wednesday.
"Giannis is a great player, two-time MVP," McMillan said. "We know what Milwaukee is all about, that's a really good team.
"Our focus has been on Philadelphia and right now we'll go enjoy this and we'll start preparing for Milwaukee tomorrow."
BELIEVE THAT pic.twitter.com/epJkKnuVTc— Kevin Huerter (@KevinHuerter) June 21, 2021