Quin Snyder Q&A: ‘We’ve got a lot of work to do’ as Hawks move forward

Hawks coach Quin Snyder confers with guard Dejounte Murray (5) at the end of the fourth quarter in Game 6 of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs at State Farm Arena, Thursday, April 27, 2023, in Atlanta. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)



Hawks coach Quin Snyder confers with guard Dejounte Murray (5) at the end of the fourth quarter in Game 6 of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs at State Farm Arena, Thursday, April 27, 2023, in Atlanta. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

After coming aboard to head the team with only 22 games left in the regular season, Hawks coach Quin Snyder got the chance to start laying some groundwork. Though he still needs some time to reflect on his first set of games, he comes away from the season feeling grateful, but ready to get to work.

Here are some of Snyder’s responses to questions asked at Friday’s end-of-season media availability:

Q: How does your individualized coaching instill confidence in your players?

A: There’s kind of a base logic to it, that, we’re all different, unique people. And I think in recognizing that, just philosophically, I feel like, that’s the beauty of a team, that everyone can, in a very fundamental sense, be who they are and also contribute in unique ways to the group. I think all of us are beginning to not just understand but value what the satisfaction is in being part of something that’s bigger than you. To the extent, as a coach-leader, that you want to try to help people understand that. We’ve got a lot of guys, I think that intuitively know that that’s a good place to be. And you want the way you play, your approach to give you opportunities to do that. And that’s, I think, who we want to be. I think that manifests itself in success. I think, in the short time that I’ve been here, that’s been something that it’s been a goal. When I’ve said, “Be the best version of ourselves at the end of the year,” I think that’s a fundamental part of that. And I’m grateful that guys have embraced that. And we’ll continue to learn both what that looks like, and also, what we can all do to, to contribute to that. So, I think those things are consistent, in many ways because guys have different things to offer. And we all want to be able to give what we have to give to the group.

Q: What does the team’s motivation about wanting to get back into the gym and work out here say about it wanting to get to the next level?

A: Yeah, I think, when it’s a player, coach, when you can envision a path forward, it’s one that you want to walk, that can be exciting to have that. There’s an opportunity, there. There’s the freshness there. And that’s what the summer is all about, and having, I think the last weeks, maybe as much as anything that beginning to crystallize a little bit, where there can be some enthusiasm about that process itself because that’s what the summer is. It’s a time to invest in yourself and to invest in a team. You can do it a lot of different ways. We’re just not all here, together day to day.

Q: How do you see Trae (Young) and (Dejounte Murray) kind of continue to learn each other and each other’s games over the course of your tenure?

A: Yeah, I mean, I think we can all just quickly think of a relationship that we’ve had in our lives and understand the growth that it takes, over years, sometimes. That process has begun, and it will continue to evolve. There’s lots of ways to evaluate that connectivity. Sometimes we look at it on the court. Sometimes you look at it off the court. Sometimes you look at it personally. There’s so many different things that we point to and say in trying to evaluate something. I think the biggest thing is just you let that stuff breathe and you learn. And I think there’s a willingness that’s present, that is fertile soil and gets back to some of the stuff we talked about before. And I think you probably heard from both of them some excitement about what that can be. And, even how we play, guys getting used to playing together, what that looks like, you know, especially as they’re both growing. You have two players in my mind that can get better. How do they get better individually? How do they get better in tandem, and how does our team get better? I think that’s the thing. We can identify those two guys, but it’s really about the group, and how does Trae make our team better? How does DJ make our team better? How does DJ make Trae better? How does Trae make De’Andre (Hunter) better? You go down the list that that’s the crucial part. And obviously, those two guys, in part because they have the ball, they’re easy to identify and their partnership, so to speak. And that’s different every game, too. It’s hard to take a singular moment or a game, even series and evaluate where that is. I think the important thing is the vision for how it works. And that’ll continue to evolve, too.

Q: How proud of the team were you with how the series against Boston played out? And what was the message?

A: I think it’s interesting that (Bogdan Bogdanovic) drew that comparison because I think, I don’t know, I want to say 2018, 2019, when that group first kind of came together and there isn’t instant gratification. It just doesn’t happen. You go through a lot together. You go through, you lose together and you learn how to win together. And so, to that extent, it’s good to know that you competed, but it’s like your golf game – not mine, but yours. We all know what it’s like to be, a 3-handicap, getting to be scratch is a whole lot more work than it is to go from 13 to three. And then to be at the highest level, is a whole ‘nother process. So, I think there’s a realism involved in that, no one wants to sit here and say, seven years from now, or six years from now, maybe we’ll be here. I don’t think you want to give yourself a timeline one way or the other. But you can’t skip steps. You just can’t. And you may have success in a certain context at a certain time. But that may not always reflect where you are. So I would say it’s great that we competed. That’s a good step, feeling like you belong. But we’ve got a lot of work to do. There’s no question about that.

Q: How much work this offseason involves looking at what you’ve gotten out of your coaching staff, in these 21-28 games and looking to the future of maybe adding or taking away, or things like that?

A: It’s kind of a two-part question. I think, I’ve said, multiple times, because I feel it and felt it continuously, the support that I’ve personally received from, the guys on the current staff, and that like everything, that evolves. And I haven’t gotten to a point where you piece all that together. It’s like creating the team. So I just, am and remain and will always be grateful for, the input, the support and the expertise that this group has had. It’s been instrumental in what we’ve tried to do with the team.