trae young
Mandatory Credit: Seth Wenig/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks fans were on Trae Young early and often in Madison Square Garden, but he had the last laugh.

Trae Young is embracing the moment in his very first playoffs. He silenced 15,000 raucous New York Knicks fans after earlier chants of “f*** Trae Young” echoed throughout the Madison Square Garden. Young returned the favor after his game-winning shot.

Young is quickly developing into one of the better “villains” in the NBA. His ability to draw ticky-tack fouls is always going to bug opposing fanbases. His nine free throws in the fourth quarter and nasty game-winner are going to live in the minds of Knicks fans for a few days.

As for how Young appreciated the MSG crowd, he’s all about the energy, good or bad. Knicks fans were jacked up as they entered the building and that energy was consistent through all four quarters. Young spoke about the hostile crowd after the game.

“I don’t know, I’ve always looked at it as I’m doing something right if I’m affecting them with my play that much,” Young said. “If they hate me that much, I’m obviously doing something right and I’ve got to let my play do the talking.

“At the end of the day, fans can only talk. They can’t guard me. They’re not out there playing. For me, it’s just a part of the game. I’m glad fans are back and I’m glad MSG was rocking tonight and I’m glad everybody got to come in and experience getting back.”

It’s onto Game 2 for the Knicks and Hawks. Young can expect an even more rabid crowd with some desperation in the air as the Knicks try to avoid dropping the first two games in this series. Game 2 is set for 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.