Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young sends telling message on Quin Snyder

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Sometimes, the obvious is not so obvious as Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young, likely unintentionally, let on after the loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

“We got to probably shoot a little bit more threes when we’re open instead of just waiting on the closeout,” Young said via Jameelah Johnson’s ‘atlhawksfans’ channel on YouTube. “But we’ll get better at that, I think. That’s something that coach – it’s new for us – he emphasizes is shooting more threes. And guys just haven’t really necessarily been told to shoot it every time whenever you get it. So, I think that’s good for our team, and it’s going to help us in the long run.”

It seems almost unbelievable to think that a team in today’s NBA isn’t emphasizing shooting the three-ball, particularly one without a dominant interior presence. But, to Young’s point, the Hawks’ three-point attempt rate (3PAr) is actually dipped since Quin Snyder took over.

That is saying a lot since Snyder’s Jazz teams led the league over the last two years.

It is an even more notable mention since the loss to Memphis featured a questionable three from Young with his team battling back, down two points with under three minutes to go. Not only did the shot miss but Young committed a foul on the other end, sending Ja Morant to the free throw line where he proceeded to knock down all three of his attempts.

“One or two more shots go, it’s a different story,” he said. “Obviously, they hit six more threes or nothing I only won by four so that’s another big difference in points, and like I just said we gotta shoot more of those threes that we get. Because I think we’re getting some good looks and quick threes that we can really shoot, and I mean Quin really likes us getting up more threes, so. It’s gonna help us in the long run if we continue to get better at them. We’ll work on it.”

Atlanta was outscored by 18 points from long distance and six points otherwise, an untenable situation.

The two-time All-Star finished with 28 points on 50% shooting including 3-of-6 threes adding 10 assists to maintain his league lead. Young is shooting 46.6% from deep over the last 10 games even after Sunday’s loss.

What is most striking about Young’s comments is that the Hawks were not getting even that basic guidance from Nate McMillan, if that is indeed the case.

It would fit with how some players described McMillan’s tenure.

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The Hawks have to hope that by getting Snyder in when they did, they have gotten a head start on working through some things, though that did not help McMillan much.

Quin Snyder sends pointed message to Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks after loss

“We’re just looking for consistency defensively, chipping away at it,” Synder said, via Johnson’s channel. “Again, for offense, if we don’t take care of the ball, that’s one thing we’ve talked about: the live-ball turnovers.”

Young had four of the Hawks’ 10 turnovers. Of those 10 giveaways, eight were of the live-ball variety including all four of Young’s.

But Snyder did lend credence to Young’s assertion that they needed to shoot more threes.

“When we have people driving to the hole and going to the basket, it really tough to defend when our floor balance changes like that,” Snyder said. “And it’s not that you don’t want to drive. But I thought we passed up some shots.”

He went on to admit the misses played a part and credited their second-half defensive turnaround. But 69 points in the first and third quarters staked Memphis to enough of a lead that the Hawks needed to do more to overcome and fell short. They are now tied with the Toronto Raptors but sit one spot below them in the standings.

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They are also just one half-game ahead of the Chicago Bulls as the Play-In Tournament race remains hotly contested.