Shelvin Mack is definitely one of the surprise performers for the Atlanta Hawks so far this season. His performances off the bench have been a big reason why the Hawks find themselves in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. All season, Mack has been able to come right off the bench and provide the Hawks with crucial minutes as the backup point guard. He runs the offense at a very efficient level while on the floor and will surprise opponents with not only his ability to pass the ball, but also his scoring.
In order to get a sense of just how good Mack has been for the Hawks, breaking down the numbers is a great place to start. This season, he’s averaging 7.3 points, 3.5 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game off the bench for Atlanta. These numbers may not look impressive on paper, but for a backup who’s not the first option off the bench, statistics like this are outstanding. His 3.5 assists per game is good for second on the team even though he only averages 18.6 minutes a game. However, what’s even better than that is the fact that he hardly ever turns the ball over as evidenced by his assist to turnover ratio at 3.3, which leads the team by a large margin.
In order to give you an example of the type of game Mack can turn in on any given night, look no further than his most recent performance against the Brooklyn Nets. Despite the loss to Brooklyn, Mack tried to keep his team in the game by contributing 17 points, seven assists and two steals off the bench in a good effort for Atlanta. He may not give you these type of numbers every night, but he makes an impact in almost every game when he takes the court. His player efficiency rating (PER) of 15.53 proves just how much he means to Hawks when he plays. A rating of 15.53 means Mack is not just an average rotation player who comes off the bench to help the starters get a breather, but instead an excellent role player who plays at a very high level during his time on the court. In fact, a rating this high really tells us that Mack should be competing for more minutes going forward due to his contributions scoring and passing the ball.
As the season goes on, he should only continue to get better as he develops his game with the Hawks. After all, he is only 23 years old and may just be starting to find his groove as an NBA player in only his second year with Atlanta.