Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray sends message to Trae Young

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Bryan Cereijo/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Bryan Cereijo/Getty Images) /

If there is one thing Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray has been consistent with, it’s been uplifting his teammates.

“He just gotta be confident, be Trae Young, be who he is,” Murray said in a video on the atlhawksfans YouTube channel on April 20. “Keep the outside noise the outside noise. He comes in here and works. Pretty sure he watches a lot of basketball so he’s a student of the game. But I don’t like to get in guys’ spaces. I texted him when we got home. I just told him, ‘Be yourself. Go out and play the game you love to play, and play it at a high level like you’re used to doing’. And that’s pretty much it”.

Young has been a lightning rod for criticism since his college days but that “outside noise” Murray is referring to has only grown louder in recent weeks and the scrutiny has been ratcheted up even more over the last few days.

A poll of a small subsection of his peers revealed that Young is viewed as the most overrated individual player in the NBA.

Despite the small percentage of players represented, it was the latest in a string of unflattering storylines this season from poor shooting and off-ball movement to his ever-present defensive liabilities as a small guard in a game played mostly by tall individuals. The biggest knocks, however, have been regarding his effort and willingness to buy in.

His notable struggles through two games versus the Boston Celtics have only served to further amplify the negative about a player who led the NBA in total assists for the second consecutive season.

Young has averaged 20 points, 7.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.0 steals through two playoff games.

But he is averaging 5.0 turnovers and shooting 23.1% from beyond the arc.

Dejounte Murray sounds off on former Spurs teammate Derrick White

Celtics guard Derrick White has been a menace off the bench, scoring at least 23 points in both games so far while knocking down 6-of-12 threes. He’s also recorded 12 rebounds, nine assists, and five blocks through both contests.

“Just a competitor,” Murray said of the Celtics’ veritable x-factor. “Not a loudmouth guy. Works really hard. Really quiet, unless he gets comfortable with them [then] he opens up. He’s a great, great teammate – motivator. He works hard so…I’m not surprised. I knew how hard he works, how much he loved the game. He’s passionate so obviously it’s just great to see him able to play great at a high level.

“Just want him to slow it down a little bit against us. Other than that man I’m happy for him. We’re going to continue to compete, and you know that’s somebody I talk to off the board you know so you at the end of the day I’m happy for him.”

Murray and White spent three-plus seasons together in San Antonio before the latter was traded to Boston at last year’s deadline.

The Hawks, of course, made the blockbuster move for Murray this past offseason.

Next. Proposed trade swaps disappointing Hawks star for $94M sharpshooter. dark

The former teammates will next lock horns on April 21 as the series shifts from Boston back to the friendly confines of State Farm Arena