Young was ejected for throwing the ball at an official, and with force.
“It’s just a play that he can’t make,” head coach Quin Snyder told reporters after the game via Jameelah Johnson’s ‘atlhawks fans’ channel on YouTube. “And I told him that. He knows it, and owns it. For a lot of reasons – frustration can’t get to that point. When it does, that can’t be your response.”
Young exited the game with 14 points on 6-for-11 shooting adding five assists, three rebounds, and one steal. More concerning, he also picked up his 15th technical foul leaving him just one away from an automatic suspension. With eight games to go in the regular season and the Hawks mired in the thick of the Play-In Tournament chase, they can ill-afford to lose Young down the stretch.
“He’s not the only one that’s lost their cool. But certainly, we’re not talking about everybody else right now, we’re talking about Trae,” Snyder said. “He’s too good of a player. We need him. It’s hard to put that in here [points to head] but we’ll get there…It wasn’t a single part of him that was trying to rationalize what happened,” Snyder said.
They are 3-5 without him this season. The good news is that the counter resets for the postseason should the Hawks reach it.
This win will certainly help them get there and makes the ordeal an easier pill to swallow.
This ejection notably comes after Young suggested on Instagram that officials should be subject to fines just like players.
“They shouldn’t get ‘we missed it’ passes,” he said.
Atlanta Hawks bench gets a shoutout
The Hawks’ bench pulled its weight in this one, chipping in 62 points as a group. They were outscored by the Pacers’ unit thanks to Jordan Nwora’s game-high 33-point effort but 25 of those points came in the second quarter.
Atlanta got a boost from backup guard Aaron Holiday in particular who poured in seven points and two assists but mostly kept the offense running when things could have snowballed.
“For someone that isn’t playing every night to be able to lead without being on the floor and be as ready to play when those opportunities present themselves…I just unbelievable respect for that…That’s unique. That’s a unique player. I feel those are the types of guys you feel grateful to coach….You just can’t help but respect it.”
The Hawks were up by four points when Holiday entered the game, roughly six minutes after Young’s exit at which point the game was tied. After Young got the boot, they outscored the Pacers 59-46.
Holiday was not the only bench member to be namedropped by Snyder with Garrison Mathews also getting mentioned.
“He knows what he can do on the offensive end as far as shooting the ball,” Snyder said. “And then…the things that he does – whether it’s blocking out, or making a stand, taking a charge, some of those things – he’s tough. And you can always use tough players.”
Mathews finished with 14 points, knocking down 4-of-5 threes.
Snyder also commended starter John Collins who put forth another solid two-way effort. Still, the performance from a pair of players who were out of the rotation is noteworthy.