Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY
Published 9: 35 p.m. ET June 24, 2021 | Updated 9: 39 p.m. ET June 24, 2021
MILWAUKEE – Atlanta’s Trae Young made one in every of his lengthy 3-pointers in the third quarter against Milwaukee and backpedaled to defend along the sideline at halfcourt legal by TNT NBA analyst Reggie Miller.
There is poetic justice that TNT broadcasts the Eastern Conference finals this season because that supplies Miller a courtside peer of Young who led the Hawks to a 116-113 victory in Game 1 on Wednesday.
Game recognizes game.
“It’s his self perception, that’s what I really admire most about him,” Miller said. “Of us say borderline cocky. I don’t mind that. I admire a guy who is assured in his abilities. Of us have bought to understand (what) it takes to be no longer simplest a professional athlete. However the skillset Trae has – the shooting, the dribbling, the tear drops, the floaters, the runners – that’s a variety of hours in the gymnasium. I respect that because I’ve been there. I know that. There’s a lot of sacrifice that goes into that. I admire the ego that he has. It’s something that’s enjoyable to watch.”
Young and Miller carry out no longer have the same game on the court docket – though they both can shoot 3-pointers – but they share a mentality: embracing the road, jawing with fans and whereas their performance can be appreciated by fans, they are the villain in opposing arenas.
There’s a swagger that irritates these fans.
“Not all americans appears to be going to be able to wear the white hat and be cheered and adored in international buildings,” Miller said on a TNT video convention. “Michael Jordan was adored in all places he went, no longer simplest at home but on the road. He was the finest player. I embraced and I loved wearing the black hat. It kind of appears to be like admire Trae enjoys being on the road, performing at the supreme stakes and quieting crowds.
“I think it’s all a mindset, and I think he’s accepting that he’s no longer the loved player. Certainly, at home, he is. However his talent status is so ideally suited, and he’s so talented, I think the reason of us boo and jeer is they respect his game. I hope he feels that way. He’s simplest 22 years extinct. He has a lifetime of a career left. However I hope he understands the reason they’re saying and doing these things is that they really respect his game. I think he’ll appreciate it the older he gets.
“However it certainly’s been a pleasure to watch. … To glance it up shut, an unbelievable talent, and it appears to be like admire he’s having enjoyable with it.”
Young is shooting, talking, scoring and strutting by way of the playoffs in a way that Miller can appreciate because that’s how Miller did it.
Young has no longer simplest played six playoff games on the road — including three Game 1s — he has done it in Unique York, Philadelphia and Milwaukee.
“When I was going on the road in middle college, I always loved playing on the road,” Young said. “I loved playing against the opposing crowd, an opposing team. It feels admire you may be really impartial with your team, and it be impartial them in the building. I think that really brings our community together. We’re a shut community. In case you may be on the road, it really forces you to advance back nearer with your teammates, to really find a way to win.”
In his playoff debut, Young averages 30.5 points and 10.5 assists and status a playoff document for many points ina convention finals debut. He may also turn into the first player in NBA history to average at least 30 points and 10 assists on team that advanced past the first round, according to basketball-reference.com.
Even on bad evening from 3-point range, Young had a viral 2d when he crossed up Jrue Holiday and had time to shimmy his shoulders earlier than making a 3-pointer.
Miller said, “No he didn’t.”
Sure, he did.
The kind of bravado makes Milwaukee fans seethe.
“He loves the intense lights,” Hawks forward John Collins said. “I forgot about the shimmy, but that’s impartial Trae. That’s his swag. If it helps him make the shot, then sustain shimmying, my boy.”
Notice Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt.
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