During the regular season, Mike Scott was an important piece off the bench for the Atlanta Hawks. He was one of the few players who could provide instant offense and really change the game with his pace of play. The power forward was great at stretching the floor for Atlanta with his outside scoring, too. However, so far in the 2014 NBA Playoffs, Scott hasn’t been the same guy fans witnessed throughout the course of the year.
The versatile forward almost seems nervous whenever he takes the floor against the Indiana Pacers. Who knows, maybe he’s intimidated by the Pacers’ top ranked defense? Either way even if it’s not nerves, something has to change. Scott can’t continue to underachieve. He’s starting to hurt the Hawks’ chances at winning games, and now is not the time do so when your team has a chance to upset the No.1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Scott needs to either step up or coach Mike Budenholzer might have to find someone else to fill his role.
In four games against Indiana, he’s averaging only 7.5 points and 2.3 rebounds per game for Atlanta. During the regular season, Scott averaged 9.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, which is what coach Bud wanted to see this postseason. Instead, he’s gotten a player who’s gone cold at the wrong time. Scott’s shooting percentages in the first round of the NBA Playoffs have been significantly lower than his production during the year.
From the three-point line, the Atlanta forward who shot 31% during the regular season is shooting an abysmal 22% from there so far. That needs to change immediately. However, what’s even more alarming is Scott’s shooting percentage overall in the postseason. During the year, he hit 48% of the shots he took, but against the Pacers that number has dropped dramatically to a horrible 32% from the field. The Hawks have to get better performances from one of their best bench players.
Scott was a vital piece to the team’s success this season. He just has to calm down and find his rhythm shooting the basketball again because if he doesn’t coach Bud might have to force him to take a seat. Right now, he’s hurting Atlanta’s chances at winning more than he’s helping by being on the court. Yesterday was the perfect example, Scott had the perfect chance to hit a wide open three late in the fourth quarter to swing the momentum, but missed it. He’s got to step up in that situation as the series goes on.