5 Atlanta Hawks who must step up in Trae Young's absence

With Trae Young out for roughly the next month, these five Atlanta Hawks need to step up to keep the team in playoff contention.
Atlanta Hawks forward Jalen Johnson and guard Dejounte Murray
Atlanta Hawks forward Jalen Johnson and guard Dejounte Murray / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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Quin Snyder has to direct the Hawks from the sideline

To say that things have not gone as expected under Snyder would be an understatement. He took over a team that was 31-30 at the time. They have gone 35-43 since, including their 25-32 mark this season.

Murray and Young have long bought into what Snyder is preaching, even if it hasn’t always come to fruition.

The relationship displayed between the trio last offseason was a key reason for optimism.

“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.”

Snyder was also key in the Hawks holding on to Murray at this year’s trade deadline, per reports.

He has to navigate murky waters without his All-Star point guard on the floor. The Hawks are a three-point-heavy team. It makes more sense to lean into a drive-and-kick approach without Young’s creation – both for himself and others – available.

Even if Murray steps up, and Bogdanovic and Bufkin both do their part as well, the Hawks’ offense will look different than it has for most of the season.

And opponents will also defend them differently knowing just that.

The Hawks need the best version of Snyder just as much as any player – De’Andre Hunter, Clint Capela, or Saddiq Bey – if not more. What’s more, his real test may ultimately come when Young returns if the Hawks show anything while the latter is out.