On Sunday the New York Knicks played in their first playoff game since 2013 and the fans had Madison Square Garden rocking from the opening tip. The Knicks arguably had the best game of the weekend when they faced off with All-Star point guard Trae Young in a matchup between the 4 seed and 5 seed.
The Knicks and Hawks traded haymakers for the entirety of Game 1. Neither team could seem to gain an upper hand on the other as the game would not be decided until the final possession. With the game tied at 105 in the waning moments of the 4th quarter, Young would come up big. The 22-year-old hit the biggest shot of his life swishing a floater on the right-wing to give the Hawks the lead and the 107-105 win over the Knicks.
Trae Young Puts Knicks Fans on Mute
Hitting big shots at Madison Square Garden is something that every kid that plays basketball dreams of growing up. Understandably, Young was fired up after hitting the go-ahead bucket. After he knocked down the floater on the right-wing, he put his finger on his lips as a gesture to quiet the Madison Square Garden crowd that had been giving him the business all night long. Young did not stop there though, he had, even more, to say to Knicks fans once the game was over.
“It got real quiet in there,” Young said as he exited the arena in a video posted by the Atlanta Hawks. “They’re still yelling, I don’t care, next one.”
Young Is Learning To Embrace the Villian Role
As a lottery pick and a top college basketball recruit, Young has been hitting big shots in front of hostile crowds his entire life. The former Oklahoma Sooner has learned to not take what fans say about him personally but instead, as a sign of respect and an indicator that he is doing his job right.
“I’ve always looked at it is I’m doing something right. If I’m offending them with my play that they hate me that much, I’m obviously doing something right,” Young told reporters after the game via Peter Botte of the New York Post. “I just got to let my play do the talking. At the end of the day, fans can only talk. They can’t guard me. They’re not out there playing.”
NBA Fans Are Glad To Have the Knicks Back in the Playoffs
As rambunctious as Knicks fans may be, the consensus around the NBA community this weekend has been that other fans are grateful to have them back in a playoff setting. Simply put, the NBA is better when the Knicks are good.
“I’m glad fans are back, MSG was rocking tonight, and I’m glad everyone got to experience it, I definitely know the history of players coming in here and being hated, and I take that as a compliment, to be honest with you,” Young continued. “I’m obviously doing something right if you hate me this much. I just embrace it and focus on helping my team get the win. At the end of the day, we’ll get the last laugh, if we do that.”
The Knicks will look to avoid going down an 0-2 hole when they face the Hawks again on Wednesday.