Heat star Jimmy Butler overlooked the Hawks and eyed the Celtics ahead of Tuesday’s play-in game at Kaseya Center.
“Obviously Boston is a really good team,” Young told reporters after leading Atlanta to a 116-105 victory, per the NBA. “I haven’t looked too far ahead. Obviously I watched them all year, they’ve been playing really well, but I was really focused on tonight and making sure that we won.
“I know Jimmy guaranteed a dub, so I was really focused on making sure that didn’t happen.”
Young and the Hawks now will face the Celtics in the first round while Butler and the Heat have their season on life support. If Miami wins the second and final Eastern Conference play-in game, it will face the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. If the Heat again come up short, their season will end without an NBA playoff appearance.
Young led the Hawks in scoring with 25 points on 8-for-18 from the field while adding eight rebounds and seven assists. Butler finished with 21 points and nine assists in 38 minutes.
“I think we all understand the moment and the time of year it is and we know how serious this time of year has to be, locked in we have to be,” Young told reporters. “Credit to our guys being locked in, ready and focused on the game-plan and understanding where people thought we could be — not winning this game. We just took that as motivation and went out and handled business.”
Despite Young and the Hawks being a sizable underdog in the first-round series against Boston, at least one Atlanta player is looking forward to the matchup. The Celtics-Hawks series will begin Saturday with tip scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET at TD Garden.