Hawks’ Trae Young makes bold prediction for NBA In-Season Tournament

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

It didn’t take long for Atlanta Hawks star point guard Trae Young to predict the outcome of the new in-season tournament debuted by the NBA during Summer League in Las Vegas.

“Oh, this team winning,” Young said as he announced the Hawks’ seeding on a panel alongside Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham and Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero of the Orlando Magic. Atlanta will be the No. 3 seed in ‘Group A’ in the Eastern Conference. The group also includes the Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, and Philadelphia 76ers.

Atlanta went 9-5 against the teams in their group this past season.

The In-Season Tournament will begin on November 30 and run through December 9 until the championship game in Las Vegas, per the NBA’s website. But, rather than every night, In-Season Tournament games will be on “Tournament Nights” (Tuesday and Friday) through November 28, and each team will play four games within the initial, or “Group Play” round.

According to the NBA’s matchup grid, the Hawks will host the 76ers and Pacers with road games against the Cavs and Pistons. Group Play will run through November 28 with eight teams advancing to the Knockout Rounds.

The teams with the best records in their respective brackets during the Group Play round will advance to the Knockout Rounds along with two wildcard teams.

Games in the Knockout Rounds are single-elimination style and run from December 4 through the championship game on December 9. Seeding in the Knockout Rounds will be based on Group Play standings but will function much like normal playoff standings with the top two teams hosting games and the team with the best record in each conference hosting the wild card.

Semifinal games will be held at neutral sites before the title game in Las Vegas.

Teams that get eliminated from the tournament will face each other in normal regular season games on days the tournament is not being played: December 6 and December 8. The NBA will use a “formulaic approach” to creating the matchups for these games.

The grand prize of the tournament is a cash pool and the NBA Cup, and all games – except for the championship game – will count toward the regular season standings.

Hawks star Trae Young addresses hilarious question from HC Quin Snyder

Young and some of the other Hawks have been in Las Vegas during Summer League play to support their younger teammates. There, he connected with Hawks head coach Quin Snyder who asked Young a question he has apparently been getting all summer: has Young gotten taller?

Young – who measured in at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine at 6-foot-1 and three-quarters – could only laugh off the question with the exchange getting caught on camera.

Young has been a big proponent of Snyder’s since the latter’s arrival after the All-Star break.

“Quinn’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever had in my whole life,” Young said during his exit interview via the team on April 28. “I mean not in any disrespect to any of my other coaches – I’ve had great coaches my whole career…But everybody’s different, and he brings something special to our team. And…I really enjoy playing for him.”

The results did not jump off the page but a foundation was laid that got the attention of opponents like Boston Celtics swingman Jaylen Brown and Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra who pointed to Snyder’s arrival in particular as an impetus for the shift.

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It’s good that everyone is positive heading into next season since they’ll be looking to build off of those good vibes with Snyder their star backcourt all under contract for the foreseeable future.