The New York Knicks haven’t participated in the NBA Playoffs since 2013. So it wasn’t a surprise when fans at Madison Square Garden created one of the best postseason environments in years when they hosted Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks in Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference’s first round earlier this week.
Unfortunately for the Knicks, it wasn’t the start they were hoping for. Young poured in 32 points – including a two-point game-winning floater with 0.9 seconds left – in a 107-105 Game 1 victory.
New York bounced back in Game 2, though. Derrick Rose (26 points, four rebounds and four assists) and Julius Randle (15 points and 12 rebounds) were terrific as the Knicks escaped with a 101-92 win to even the series.
Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Games 1 and 2 was the raucous and passionate environment at Madison Square Garden. While some players would’ve shied away from such intensity, Young embraced it.
Even though the MSG crowd taunted him with curse words and one fan spit at him, Young called playing there the “experience of a lifetime” in a recent interview.
“It was the experience of a lifetime,” Young said on Thursday, via NBA TV. “For me, my first playoff experience, being in the Garden, against the fans there. It was the experience of a lifetime.”
Check out what else Young had to say about Madison Square Garden and Knicks fans in the video below.
"It was the experience of a lifetime."
Trae Young joined NBA TV to talk making his playoff debut at MSG. pic.twitter.com/wENj0U2JyL
— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 27, 2021
Trae Young is only 22 years old, but he’s already the Knicks’ villain.
The rising star poured in 32 and then 30 points in Games 1 and 2, respectively. The Knicks have yet to find an answer for the Hawks guard.
New York will now have to try and contain Young in front of the Hawks’ home crowd. Game 3 commences Friday night at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.