The drought is finally over as the New York Knicks have officially won their first playoff game in eight years. The Knicks defeated the Atlanta Hawks, 101-92 on Wednesday night, and have tied the series at one game apiece as their first-round matchup shifts to Atlanta for Game 3.
This series has been nothing but competitive from the opening tip of Game 1 and the pace has not slowed down through two games. The Knicks and Hawks have had to fight tooth and nail for every bucket that they have earned as it has become possibly the best series of the first round.
For as much as has occurred on the court between the Knicks and Hawks a lot of the focus has been on the budding rivalry between Knicks fans and Hawks All-Star Trae Young after he hit the game-winning basket in Game 1.
Did a Knicks Fan Spit at Trae Young?
After Wednesday’s game a video surfaced on Twitter that appears to show a fan at Madison Square Garden spitting at Young. Young was taking the ball out on the sideline and if you look closely at the video, there appears to be spit coming in his direction. Young’s back was turned so he could not see what happened.
Trae Young vs Knicks Fans Is the NBA’s Newest Rivalry
Things have especially gotten heated between Knicks fans and Young this series after he quieted the crowd with a go-ahead layup to help lift the Hawks over the Knicks in Game 1. New York fans have been rough on Young, but for him, he views their hostility towards him as the ultimate sign of respect.
“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 said after Game 1 via Peter Botte of the New York Post. “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.”
Russell Westbrook Involved in Altercation With Fan Wednesday
Young was not the only NBA star involved in a situation with a fan on Wednesday. After suffering an ankle injury, Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook was escorted to the locker room at the Wells Fargo Center and a Sixers fan dumped a bucket of popcorn on him. Westbrook had to be restrained from going in the stands to confront the fan who was eventually identified and escorted out of the arena. He addressed the situation after the game.
“To be completely honest, this s*** is getting out of hand, especially for me. The amount of disrespect, the amount of fans just doing whatever the f*** they want to do — it’s just out of pocket,” Westbrook said to reporters after the game per ESPN. “There are certain things that cross the line. In any other setting … a guy were to come up on the street and pour popcorn on my head, you know what happens. In these arenas, you got to start protecting the players. We’ll see what the NBA does.”
The Knicks will look to take a 2-1 series lead when they take on the Hawks on Friday.