3) Hawks must avoid another quick postseason exit
So, if the Hawks manage to avoid the first two scenarios, there is still one elephant in the room: another first-round exit from the postseason.
Back-to-back early outs have left a bad taste in Young’s mouth.
“It’s tough when you’re declining, and when you go from the Conference Finals down,” Young said on the “From the Point by Trae Young” podcast on June 9. “But it’s so hard to get to that point.”
The Hawks boasted a 35-32 record with both Murray and Young active. They were 8-9 together after Quin Snyder took over as head coach.
But both think having the coach around is going to pay dividends for the team next season.
“Bringing Quin in halfway [through the season], I think, is a game changer for us,” Young said on his 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.”
Snyder’s impact was noticed by opponents, too.
“You gotta give credit to the Hawks,” Celtics star Jaylen Brown said via the CLNS Media Boston Sports YouTube channel on April 30. “I mean I think if they would have played like [this postseason] all season they would have been a top-five team in the East.”
That plays well into Murray’s expectations for the Hawks this coming season, and it leaves plenty of room for Young’s assertion to be proven true as well.