Knicks guard Derrick Rose had no issue with the way Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young reacted after hitting the game-winning shot in Game 1.
And as far as the Knicks fans who chanted ‘f–k Trae Young’ throughout the game and the fact that Young is now being viewed as a Knicks villain?
“That’s basketball. The league got so soft,” Rose told reporters on Wednesday via Zoom prior to Game 2 at Madison Square Garden. “That’s basketball. He came in, he played a great game. And the crowd is supposed to do that. It’s supposed to be that way. And it’s supposed to amp up and bring the atmosphere to where it is right now. That’s what I’m used to. I’ve been in series where drinks were thrown at a parent, people’s moms. You on the court and you see a beer splashed on your (family) — that’s the environment I’m used to.
“Now it’s a little different. That’s all part of the game. When you got both sides fighting and you’ve worked your butt off all year. Summer time when nobody is watching you’re at the gym, working on your game and seeing the results of it. Not only in the regular season but in the playoffs. And you want to talk s–t, talk s–t. But the next game it’s going to be tougher. The environment is going to create a great atmosphere for great basketball.”
When the Knicks take the court on Wednesday night, they’ll be looking to avoid falling into an 0-2 hole with the series about to shift to Atlanta for Game 3 on Friday and Game 4 on Sunday.
One way for the Knicks to even things up, per Rose, is for them to get more aggressive — and to defend Young better.
“Well I can say we played too relaxed,” Rose said about Game 1. “Tonight we’re just going to play our normal way of playing — aggressive and playing smart. He’s a smart player. He knows how to use angles.
“We just got to make sure we stay into the ball and make things harder for him. Last game we didn’t do that. If you look on the film, we weren’t into the ball. We kind of let him go and dictate the game. We got to make sure – he didn’t turn his back one time. We got to make sure that we play a little bit harder.”