Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young points finger at Warriors duo: ‘Blame’ them

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The NBA has undoubtedly undergone a clear shift in preferred philosophies over the last decade and Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young knows why.

During the second episode of ‘From the Point by Trae Young’, the Hawks star was asked about the importance of three-point shooting in these playoffs. According to Young, it can be traced back to Golden State Warriors duo Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

“Three-point shooting is important, especially nowadays because everybody’s taking so many threes throughout the game,” Young said on June 9. “I think guys are starting to take more threes, and you can blame Steph and Klay for that. But that’s just the way the game is nowadays.”

The ‘Splash Bros’ are two of if not the best shooters the game has seen.

Curry’s 7,929 triples are the most in NBA history, followed by James Harden (7594) and Damian Lillard (6410) since the Warriors star entered the league in 2009-10.

Thompson, meanwhile, led the NBA with 731 threes this past season – just the 11th time in NBA history a player has taken that many 3s, all of which have happened since the 2015-16 season with Curry, 35, on the list five times and Harden three times.

Since Thompson, 33, entered the league in 2011-12, only Curry, Harden, and Lillard have taken more than the 5,318 shots from beyond the arc he has taken and only Curry has been more accurate. It all becomes more impressive when factoring in that Thompson missed 2.5 seasons with injuries.

And, in the end, the idea of the game is to outscore your opponent.

“If your team’s hitting, you gonna put up more points naturally just because,” Young said. “Even if the other team’s scoring way more 2s, it’s not going to equal up to the same amount.”

Young then explained that the influence of the game has even changed how some positions operate, namely, center where Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic, 28, has been dominant averaging a triple-double throughout the NBA playoffs.

“Jokic is making it tough because he’s a big winning a championship but at the same time, he can still knock down threes,” Young said. “There’s not very many beings in the league that can do what he does. So although he’s transcending the game, there’s not gonna be very many 7-foot guys coming around passing and shooting doing what he does.”

Denver is one win away from winning its first NBA championship.

The two-time MVP, Jokic, went 3-for-7 from outside en route to a 23-point, 12-rebound night adding four assists, three steals, and three blocks.

Young has previously spoken about the Hawks’ plans to shoot more threes under new head coach Quin Snyder whose Utah Jazz squads were at or near the top of the standings in attempts during his peak.

The Hawks’ two-time All-Star shot his lowest mark since his rookie season at 33.5% in 2022-23.

“This year I didn’t shoot the ball the best. I don’t want to blame it on anything, but I feel like I could have been a lot better,” admitted Young. I know going into next year I’m gonna be a lot better and getting back to what…my standards are for myself and even getting higher than that.”

Atlanta Hawks’ Bogdan Bogdanovic photobombs Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic

The Nuggets took a 3-1 lead over the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals with a 108-95 victory in Game 4. Afterward, Jokic took a moment to embrace his family in the stands of the Kaseya Center.

But, also in the stands was Hawks swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic.

Bogdanovic, 30, who has admired Jokic’s game on social media this offseason, has gotten in plenty of training this offseason. It is a welcomed change from last summer when he was recovering from knee surgery to address an avulsion fracture and missed the first 22 games of the regular season.

He has even announced plans to play for his native Serbia 2023 FIBA World Cup which begins in August.

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This certainly bodes well for the Hawks and Bogdanovic as he begins a new four-year, $68 million contract he signed in March. He averaged 14.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.8 assists while knocking down 40.5% of his long-distance looks last season.