At the start of Atlanta Hawks training camp, second-year forward Mike Scott reportedly showed up in much better shape than he did last season. According to Robby Kalland of Hawks Basketblog, Scott lost 15 pounds over the summer by changing his diet, saying he got “on the Whole Foods diet.”
There are always reports this time of year around the NBA of players gaining or losing weight and being in “the best shape of their life.” However, Scott looks in noticeably better shape right now through the Hawks first two preseason games. More than that, Scott has seen the desired results from his weight loss thus far into the Hawks’ preseason.
Scott told Kalland in the report that he hoped dropping the 15 pounds would help him “become more agile, more versatile, more explosive” and that’s exactly what he’s looked like this season. After appearing in only 40 games in his rookie season and not being a big part of Atlanta’s rotation, Scott has looked every bit like a player that could consistently find minutes for the Hawks.
In Atlanta’s first preseason contest against the Miami Heat, Scott opened up with 13 points, six rebounds and one assists in 21 minutes while shooting a solid 6-10 from the floor. As they faced off with the Charlotte Bobcats the next night for their second game of the preseason, Scott followed up a solid first performance by putting up 19 points and six rebounds on 8-11 shooting in 28 minutes on the floor.
Scott has come into this preseason showing more quickness with and without the ball and has been playing with a lot more confidence. When he gets the ball, he’s looking for his shot and has been able to get it and knock it down.
One of the most interesting things that Scott brings to the table for Atlanta is his versatility in terms of position as he’s able to play at both forward spots. Now that he’s dropped some of that weight, he has even more flexibility and will be able to have more success at the small forward than he did in his limited time last season.
With Gustavo Ayon missing some time with a shoulder injury, there should be some available minutes that Scott could come in and grab, especially if he continues playing this well for the rest of the preseason. As this Hawks team is rebuilding and trying to stay competitive after losing Josh Smith, Scott could be a helpful piece that not many people expected to contribute before the year began.