The leaders on the Atlanta Hawks have been clearly defined over the course of the 2012-13 NBA season. With the disconnect that is obvious at times between Josh Smith and the organization, Jeff Teague and Al Horford have emerged as the leaders on the team and have performed quite well in that role.
Teague has never been asked to do as much as he has been this season in his four-year career, though. Because of this, he has needed competent reserve guards to come in and help him, either through giving him rest or by assisting him in the backcourt. Devin Harris has been the guy in that role for the whole year, but Shelvin Mack, a guy they acquired late in the season, has been terrific here at the end of the year.
Mack struggled to get on the floor when he first arrived in Atlanta, but has worked his way into a consistent, yet limited role as a bench player for the Hawks. He has played in all of the Hawks’ last 10 games and has been on the floor for 16.5 minutes per game over that time. Playing that few of minutes has obviously put a ceiling on what he’s been able to do, but he has performed really well in that little time.
In those 10 games, Mack has averaged 6.6 points, 2.8 assists, 1.2 rebounds and 0.5 steals per game for Atlanta. He’s also been delightfully efficient, shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from beyond the arc. Considering that Mack is in just his second season and has worked his way into this limited role, the way he’s producing is still impressive.
Mack isn’t going to supplant Teague as the starting point guard because the Hawks are invested in Teague and Teague is simply the better player between the two. However, with the way that Mack has performed as of late, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to believe that he couldn’t be the Hawks’ reserve point guard moving forward, especially with Harris becoming a free agent this offseason.