Trae Young brings the Hawks back to MSG to face the Knicks

Trae Young brings the Hawks back to MSG to face the Knicks

Trae Young is back Atlanta Hawks — and just in time to face his favorite enemy.

Young and the Hawks are scheduled to visit the New York Knicks on Wednesday night in the final rematch of a 2021 Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

Young wants to put more distance between himself and the controversy arising from his recent absence from a game. Young returned to the Hawks on Monday night, when he had a double-double as host Atlanta fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 121-114.

The Knicks have been off since Sunday, when they continued a four-game homestand by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 92-81.

Young put up a routine stat line while taking on his usual workload Monday. He finished with 23 points and 10 assists while playing 36:40, in line with his season averages of 27.6 points, 9.6 assists, 35.5 minutes per game.

It was his first appearance since November 30.

The fifth-year star guard, battling a right shoulder injury, did not play in Friday’s 117-109 win over the Denver Nuggets. The Athletic reported that Young’s absence stemmed from a Friday morning disagreement with head coach Nate McMillan, who asked Young to attend the pregame round and receive treatment on his shoulder during the tour.

Young wanted to be dealt during shooting, after which McMillan said Young could contribute off the bench Friday or sit. McMillan said Monday morning that he never gave Young such an ultimatum.

“I never, ever, and never, ever told a player not to show up for a game,” McMillan said before Monday’s game. “That’s just false.”

Young said he wishes the story had not gone public.

“I’m just going to focus on basketball and helping my team win,” he said.

Few teams seem to crystallize Young’s focus like the Knicks, against whom he’s averaging 27.9 points and 9.2 assists per game in 14 regular-season contests. He also averaged 29.2 points and 9.8 assists in the Hawks’ five-game win over the Knicks in the 2021 playoffs, as Young emerged as a Reggie Miller-like foe during games at Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks will be up against a regular tormentor a game after getting the best of a potential budding thorn in their side.

Donovan Mitchell, who was linked to New York in trade talks all summer before being dealt to Cleveland, scored 23 points on 8-of-22 shooting Sunday. He had 38 points on 12-for-20 shooting in the Cavaliers’ 121-108 win over the Knicks on Oct. 30.

The Knicks had a lot more on their minds Sunday than simply stopping Mitchell.

The win snapped a five-game losing streak at home for New York, which was snapped by 28 points in the second half of a 121-100 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday. It also marked just their fourth win this season against a team currently in a playoff or tournament spot.

The 81 points allowed was also a season-low for the Knicks, who gave up the fewest and sixth-fewest points in the N.B.A, respectively, in Tom Thibodeau’s first two seasons as head coach. But the Knicks entered Sunday having given up at least 120 points in three of their previous five games.

“I’m glad we won the way we did,” Knicks guard Jalen Brunson said. “It was a solid effort offensively. But the fact that our defense was able to hold us in it is a good sign.”

–Media at the field level

Copyright 2022 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and the Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

#Trae #Young #brings #Hawks #MSG #face #Knicks

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button