Hawks' Trae Young always been fueled by playing the villain, says former coach


Atlanta Hawks superstar guard Trae Young has relished playing the role of villain this postseason, and it's come as no surprise to his college coach.

"As a great player in college, you're going to receive the ire of fans when you're the visiting team on the road. And Trae did that, he's accustomed to that," former Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger told The DA Show on Tuesday. "And when you do it in Madison Square Garden, that's a little bit different, of course. A different stage. But he's fueled by that. He's got the skills, he's got the game to back it up, and he's certainly done that throughout his career...

"He's been fantastic. And anytime you see a guy on that stage achieve the success that Trae has -- as a Sooner -- certainly that's great for the program, and great for Trae and his family. Don't see that changing anytime soon."

Young, who scored a team-high 35 points in the Hawks' 113-102 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 3 of the East finals on Sunday, sprained his ankle late in the third quarter. Following an MRI on Monday, the team announced that Young is listed as questionable to play in Tuesday's Game 4, due to a bone bruise in his right foot.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Young has tied veteran star LeBron James for the second-most 30-point games in a single postseason (8) by a player at age 22 or younger. Through 15 playoff games, Young is averaging 29.8 points with 9.5 assists, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.3 steals.

Game 4 of the best-of-seven series will take place at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, with tipoff scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET. According to FiveThirtyEight, the Hawks -- which currently trail 2-1 in the series -- have just a 12-percent chance of advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1961.

The entire conversation between Kruger and DA can be accessed in the audio and video players above.

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