MILWAUKEE – Atlanta’s Trae Young made one in all his lengthy 3-pointers within the third quarter in opposition to Milwaukee and backpedaled to defend alongside the sideline at halfcourt proper by TNT NBA analyst Reggie Miller.
There is poetic justice that TNT broadcasts the Eastern Conference finals this season as a result of that provides Miller a courtside view of Young who led the Hawks to a 116-113 victory in Game 1 on Wednesday.
Game acknowledges recreation.
“It’s his confidence, that’s what I love most about him,” Miller mentioned. “People say borderline cocky. I don’t mind that. I like a guy who is confident in his skills. People have got to understand (what) it takes to be not only a professional athlete. But the skillset Trae has – the shooting, the dribbling, the tear drops, the floaters, the runners – that’s countless hours in the gym. I respect that because I’ve been there. I know that. There’s a lot of sacrifice that goes into that. I like the ego that he has. It’s something that’s fun to watch.”
Young and Miller do not need the identical recreation on the court docket – although they each can shoot 3-pointers – however they share a mentality: embracing the highway, jawing with followers and whereas their efficiency can be appreciated by followers, they’re the villain in opposing arenas.
There’s a swagger that irritates these followers.
“Not everyone is going to be able to wear the white hat and be cheered and adored in foreign buildings,” Miller mentioned on a TNT video convention. “Michael Jordan was adored everywhere he went, not only at home but on the road. He was the best player. I embraced and I loved wearing the black hat. It kind of looks like Trae enjoys being on the road, performing at the highest stakes and quieting crowds.
“I think it’s all a mindset, and I think he’s accepting that he’s not the beloved player. Certainly, at home, he is. But his skill set is so good, and he’s so talented, I think the reason people boo and jeer is they respect his game. I hope he feels that way. He’s only 22 years old. He has a lifetime of a career left. But I hope he understands the reason they’re saying and doing these things is that they really respect his game. I think he’ll appreciate it the older he gets.
“But it’s been a joy to watch. … To see it up close, an unbelievable talent, and it looks like he’s having fun with it.”
Young is taking pictures, speaking, scoring and strutting by way of the playoffs in a approach that Miller can recognize as a result of that is how Miller did it.
Young has not solely performed six playoff video games on the highway — together with three Game 1s — he has achieved it in New York, Philadelphia and Milwaukee.
“When I was going on the road in middle school, I always loved playing on the road,” Young said. “I loved playing against the opposing crowd, an opposing team. It feels like you’re really just with your team, and it’s just them in the building. I think that really brings our group together. We’re a close group. When you’re on the road, it really forces you to come closer with your teammates, to really find a way to win.”
In his playoff debut, Young averages 30.5 points and 10.5 assists and set a playoff record for most points ina conference finals debut. He could also become the first player in NBA history to average at least 30 points and 10 assists on team that advanced past the first round, according to basketball-reference.com.
Even on bad night from 3-point range, Young had a viral moment when he crossed up Jrue Holiday and had time to shimmy his shoulders before making a 3-pointer.
Miller said, “No he didn’t.”
Yes, he did.
The kind of bravado makes Milwaukee fans seethe.
“He loves the bright lights,” Hawks forward John Collins said. “I forgot about the shimmy, but that’s just Trae. That’s his swag. If it helps him make the shot, then keep shimmying, my boy.”
Follow Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt.