Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young said Thursday it was tough trying to rally some of his teammates early in the season because it’s not the same atmosphere as the playoffs.
Young made his comment following the team’s 116-98 loss to the Utah Jazz.
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Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) works to get past Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley (11) during the first half Nov. 4, 2021, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)
“I think guys are learning that,” he said about getting over the struggles of the early season, via The Athletic.
“We’re no longer the hunters. It’s (the) regular season. I’m not going to lie, it’s a lot more boring than the playoffs. You got to find that motivation to play like the playoffs.”
Atlanta is 4-5 to start the season.
CLARKSON SCORES 30, MITCHELL-LESS JAZZ ROUT HAWKS 116-98
“We have to figure out who’s going to sacrifice for this team to win. It’s all about winning at the end of the day. If you win, everyone eats,” Young added.
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young reacts after a call during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Young is averaging 22.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 9.2 assists per game. The Hawks star has been the target of some criticism as he’s complained about the new NBA rules regarding shooting motions. He’s complained about officials missing calls.
“It’s basketball. It’s just, it feels that they’re learning, and they’re just — I don’t know. It’s frustrating,” he said last month, via ESPN.
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) dribbles past Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley (11) during the first quarter Nov. 4, 2021, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Ga. (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)
Young, along with Brooklyn Nets star James Harden, have had to make adjustments early in the season regarding their shooting and how they used to draw fouls.
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On Thursday, Young had 21 points, four rebounds and seven assists. He was 5-for-5 from the free-throw line. He’s only shot more than 10 free throws once this season. Last year, through the first nine games, he had shot more than 10 free throws five times.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.