Not many NBA players have notched a better start to their postseason careers than Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young. With 30 points in the Hawks' 101-92 Game 2 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, Young became just the sixth player in league history to score at least 30 points in his first two playoff games.
As great as his basketball performance has been, however, Young's interactions with the 15,000-plus Madison Square Garden fans have been just as entertaining. It started in Sunday's Game 1, with the Knicks crowd chanting "F--- Trae Young" intermittently throughout the game. Young answered them with a, after which he shushed the stunned crowd.
As you might expect, Knicks fans came back in full force on Wednesday night for Game 2, showering Young with boos and chants from start to finish. Late in the fourth quarter with the game firmly in New York's favor, the MSG fans reprised their "F--- Trae Young" chorus, and even Young couldn't help but smile before inbounding the ball.
As Young walked back to the locker room after the final buzzer sounded, he turned toward the rabid fans and appeared to say, "I'll see you in the A," in reference to Friday's Game 3 taking place in Atlanta.
The first two games of the series have been a lot of fun, and Young is clearly enjoying the fact that fans are back in the stands. Overall, the Hawks have to be happy with a tied series heading back to Atlanta, especially with Young playing at this level.
"I hope Atlanta's ready to bring that energy. I hope it's loud," Young said after the game. "I hope everybody's excited to have the playoffs back in the A."
The best part is that the Knicks' win on Wednesday guaranteed a return to the Garden for Young. We'll see what kind of material he and the fans bring to their next interaction.