These Hawks relish playing in hostile environments, and that’s why they are in the Eastern Conference Finals

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Trae Young and the rest of the Hawks have gone on an incredible postseason run, defying almost all expectations and currently sit with a 1-0 series lead over another heavy favorite. After dismantling the Knicks in Madison Square Garden and taking the top seeded 76ers to Game 7 before winning the series in Philly, the Hawks have proven that no matter how little playoff experience or how many injuries they have, they feed off of the opposing crowd. Trae Young is the most notable example, as his Conference Finals debut was one for the history books.

The Hawks have an incredible 6-2 record on the road this postseason, and they have found ways to win even when someone else has to pick up the slack. John Collins was almost as terrific on Wednesday night:

However, anyone who watched last night knew that Game 1 was the Trae Young show. He had this to say after his masterful performance in his first Eastern Conference Finals appearance:

“Ever since I was in middle school … I always loved playing on the road”

“I loved playing against an opposing crowd, an opposing team. And it feels that you’re really just with your team, and it’s just them in the building. I think that really brings our group together. We’re a close group.”

Trae has been incredible for these entire playoffs, but especially on the road. He now has six 30-point performances in eight playoff games played away from home. It’s incredible to see a player feed off of the opposing crowd like Trae does, but the rest of the team has been fantastic as well. When Young wasn’t having his best night during Game 7 against Philly, Kevin Huerter and others stepped up. John Collins is playing like a max-contract player, and Clint Capela set a playoff career-high for rebounds in Game 1 with 19. The Hawks ability to win these tough games is so critical, as the saying goes, “The series doesn’t begin until a team wins a game on the road.” If Atlanta can keep this up, I have no doubt they will be hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy in a few weeks.

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