Atlanta Hawks: 3 most encouraging quotes from media day

Atlanta Hawks Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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Encouraging Atlanta Hawks media day quote No. 1: Trae Young wants to “perfect” the mid-range

Our first quote is a bit ironic. It wasn’t that long ago that coaches around the league were preaching every shot should be at the rim or beyond the arc. The flawed attempt to re-create what the Golden State Warriors had built wound up going too far, resulting in things like the 2019-20 Houston Rockets where no one stood over 6-foot-7.

In reality, the mid-range is a key component in the arsenal of many of the game’s top stars.

Kevin Durant’s lethal middy was the key to making the Warriors the force that they were. There’s also Bradley Beal, the NBA’s second-leading scorer last season, the “Point God” Chris Paul, Joel Embiid, and Devin Booker.

All of those guys were top 15 scorers, just as Trae Young was. But they were also more efficient and averaged more than 5.0 mid-range attempts per game.

One of the main issues critics of Young have is his propensity for deep threes. He isn’t usually one to over-dribble but the early heaves can quickly take the team out of its rhythm.

By simply turning some of those deep threes — which are a necessary staple of his game — into mid-range shots, Young could easily crack the top-10 in scoring and, maybe, even the top-5. If that happens, combined with his ability to set up his teammates, we could be having preliminary MVP discussions for the electrifying point guard.

Not saying that he would win it — he is currently eighth in preseason betting odds — but his name would certainly come up.

Young, who signed a massive extension worth up to $207 million this offseason, said he wants to add another area for opponents to defend. Having shown the ability to wow with his halfcourt triples, and how lethal his floater proved to be in the postseason, adding the mid-range is an excellent next step.