Who’s to blame for the Atlanta Hawks mess — Trae Young or Nate McMillan?

Nate McMillan and Trae Young

Nate McMillan and Trae Young
photo: Getty Images

This is a multiple choice question. Trae Young is a rising superstar who has plateaued after some wins early in his career. Young, 24, was in the conference finals two seasons ago, but he also has a penchant for taking too many warm-up shots that are exciting but most observers shudder when he inevitably suffers upsets.

Young, however, has struggled with soreness in his right shoulder, which he was receiving during a shootaround Friday when an altercation broke out between McMillan and Young, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Sam Amick. .

According to The Athletic, McMillan disapproved of Young’s stance and gave him an ultimatum: either come off the bench or stay out of the game. As a result, Young was unexpectedly cut from Atlanta’s lineup ahead of Friday’s home game against the Denver Nuggets.

So how would you respond?

A) Nate McMillan was right to give Trae Young an ultimatum!

B) Trae Young is unhappy with every coach. no big deal.

C) It’s not just a shootaround.

D) All of the above

correct answer: D

McMillan needs to relax, but he and Young have never resonated on the same frequency, and it remains to be seen whether McMillan’s coaching style suits the needs of this team.

McMillan attributed his spat with Young to a misunderstanding, but a leader in a locker room shouldn’t have the communication standards of two strangers arguing in a nightclub. In such an atmosphere, organizations are handing nights to their star players with dizzying speed, treating one of the NBA’s most used stars as a questionable diva ahead of low-stakes games in early December, and he’s Receiving treatment for a shoulder injury hints at some turmoil bubbling beneath the surface.

To paraphrase Iverson’s famous saying, “We’re talking about shoot drills. Not a game, not a game, not a game, but a shoot drill.” One of the top defenders, but he has surprisingly good stamina. In five seasons, he missed just 23 games.

However, this wasn’t just a communication failure. Young and McMillan speak different languages. McMillan’s relationship with Young has soured since Atlanta reached the Eastern Conference finals in 2021, so much so that the Hawks have held several team meetings to address their issues.Lloyd Pierce’s record led to his firing, but feud with Young is also at the forefront of his departure.

McMillan and Young’s tenuous relationship would be less of a concern if the Eagles were winning at the pace they expected.Their record of 13 wins and 10 losses to start the season is astonishing Similar to Atlanta’s sluggish 12-11 record Through the top 23 games of 2021. To McMillan’s credit, the shorthanded Hawks remained in fourth place in the East and beat Denver 117-109 on Friday. Atlanta, however, is also just three games short of the playoffs, with more holes in its ceiling than when team president Travis Schlenk built his Dejounte Murray-Trae Young backcourt atrium.

Last season’s feverish offense destroyed opposing defenses and led the league in points per 100 possessions. Young-Murray Hawks defense improved from No. 26 to top 10, but their Half court offense, now bottom 10 unit. McMillan’s offense ranks last in 3-point percentage and 22nd in effective field goal percentage, where 3s are more weighted and they miss I don’t say anything That makes them an All-League Pass team.

Atlanta’s Kevin Huerter trade illustrates how the Hawks’ front office and their coaching staff manage their roster. Shortly after Dejounte Murray’s offseason, Atlanta sent Huerter, 24, to Sacramento for Justin Holiday, 33, Mo Harkless, 29, and a 2024 first-round pick. picks. The Eagles envision Huerter evolving into a Klay Thompson Lite to deal with Young, but more importantly, they appear to be taking advantage of Sacramento’s stumble so they can inherit a lottery pick.

Instead, Huerter has reached new heights in Sacramento’s more spread out offense, which ranks second in the NBA in assists, closer to Golden State than to Atlanta’s Trae Young center.

Back to Huerth. in Sacramento, mike brown Turn Huerter’s talents into batteries that power the NBA’s second-highest scoring team.he is in the nba Scorer with the most turnovers and his Doubles match with Domantas Sabonis enable him to develop his full skills. Starting alongside Fox, Huerter averaged a career-high 15.5 points per game while shooting over 42 percent from beyond the arc and making nearly seven 3-pointers per game. He didn’t get those looks in Atlanta.

After sweeping the Miami Heat in the first round last season, Atlanta needed not only personnel changes, but a purge. Trae Young needs a more Steph-like shooting profile James Harden’s… Young’s struggles are a microcosm of the Eagles’ distress. They haven’t put their offensive stars in prime scoring positions.atlanta is heavy rely on predictable isolation They run more pick-and-rolls than all but one team.Even with De’Aaron Fox on the floor, Sacramento is on the way to Golden State Fewer pick-and-rolls than any team After a dismal 2021-22 season at No. 5.

last season, 14.2 percent of Young’s 2-point attempts He made 22.3 percent of his 3-pointers. Young improved slightly, but only on 15 percent of his assists on 2-pointers and 38 percent on his 3-pointers.

Curry is the most efficient off-the-dribble shooter in league history, making 36.5 percent of his 2-point attempts on assists, nearly three times Young’s rate. In triples? 58% of the time. Making it easy for Young so he doesn’t burn out will be the way to secure McMillan’s future employment in Atlanta.

How Schlenk handles their plan to trade John Collins will determine Atlanta’s short-term success, but McMillan’s clock is ticking toward midnight. Former Warriors assistant Mike Brown unpacked the peak Red Velvet version of Huerter that Atlanta thought they were getting. Atlanta upgraded the roster, but not the staff that deployed it. If the turmoil in Atlanta continues, they might consider taking a piece of the Golden State Warriors’ coaching tree.


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