“Obviously, every game matters, but we’re competing for something that’s [bigger]. We don’t ever want to shortchange our stuff,” James said before the season. “For me personally, that’s a fine line with me, but understanding that it’s a shortened season. … The offseason is going to be the shortest season for any professional sport ever. We’re very conscientious about what we’re going to do going forward as far as me personally.”
October 25, 2021 | 4:00 pm EDT Update
Marc Stein: The Sixers have stopped fining Ben Simmons for missed games and practices given that he is now out for personal reasons, one source close to the situation says, confirming a report this afternoon from @Ramona Shelburne on the NBA Today. More from me: marcstein.substack.com
I had the Hawks at No. 6 in my Power Rankings heading into training camp, which I think was higher than most preseason prognostications. Then I got some grief from a reader saying that I should have had you guys lower because the new rules designed to cut down on free throws awarded to players who initiate contact would affect your game greatly. How are you adjusting so far to the way games are being called?
Trae Young: I think it’s a more an adjustment on both sides, but also just me playing my game. I’ve been in a lot of meetings with [NBA head of referee training and development] Monty [McCutchen], trying to make sure of what’s a foul and what’s not. A lot of the [contract I draw] is a foul. Me going in front and stopping on a dime and defenders continuing to run into me, that’s still a foul. The league is good at that — being open to communicating about anything. Especially if a guy has questions. It’s not just me. I’m sure a lot of other guys have called and just tried to get more clarification on what’s a foul and what’s not.
So you’re not worried about a different sort of whistle this season affecting your game? Trae Young: Nah. I’m not, to be honest with you, even thinking about the refs and the foul calls. I can score without the free throws. But I’m a smaller guy, so a lot of guys like to be physical with me. I like using their aggression to my advantage. That’s really what it is.