Trae Young identifies potential ‘game changer’ for Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks went 29-30 this past season before dismissing former head coach Nate McMillan coming out of the All-Star break. After two games – and two wins – under former assistant Joe Prunty, Quin Snyder took over.

They went 10-11 under Snyder in the regular season; a significant change for similar results.

However, they won four of their final six regular season games and took a pair of games in their first-round playoff matchup against the second-seeded Boston Celtics.

“Bringing Quin in halfway [through the season], I think, is a game changer for us,” Trae Young said on the debut episode of the ‘From The Point’ podcast on June 1. “Just from what he brings like his mental and just him being a real teacher….He teaches everybody. From the coaches to the players all day, and he’s always talking during practices.”

Hawks forward John Collins mentioned the need for a coach who could teach when McMillan was fired. He noted that, given the Hawks’ collective youth, McMillan was probably better suited for a more veteran team.

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“I think Quin has done a great job of just creating an identity for that team,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters after their tilt on April 11 via NBA Interviews on YouTube on April 11. They’re different just in terms of how they really try to crash [the glass] and get second opportunities.”

Per Young, the Hawks will also look to get up more three-pointers next season.

The Hawks have ranked no higher than 18th (2022) in three-point attempts in any of the last three seasons, bottoming out at 28th this past season with McMillan at the helm for more than two years’ worth of games across three NBA seasons.

Snyder’s Jazz ranked first and second in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

“It’s been a different transition with those two coaches,” Young said. “I’m looking forward to next year and seeing who we bring in, and seeing how Quin’s people will help us going forward.”

Atlanta Hawks HC Quin Snyder rounding out coaching staff

Snyder has been active and aggressive in getting his “people” in for his staff after clearing the bench after the season. He has already brought in former Phoenix Suns and Serbian National Team head coach Igor Kokoskov and is expected to announce several other names in the near future.

Sources tell me that Bryan Bailey, Antonio Lang, Mike Brey, Sanjay Lumpkin are expected to join the staff as well,” tweeted Emiliano Carchia of Sportando on May 27. “Jeff Watkinson and Steve Klei will remain after joining the staff upon Coach Snyder’s arrival.”

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Lumkin’s name is the only one who hasn’t been previously reported but all of the potential hires have ties to Snyder dating back to his Jazz and/or Duke coaching days.