Greetings! We’re back with our 2nd installment of the 2013-2014 Atlanta Hawks player profiles. In case you missed it, we took a look at backup guard Jared Cunningham in Part 1, and today, we’re moving on to Shelvin Mack. Let’s go.
Mack is heading into his 3rd year in the league and 2nd year with the Hawks after being drafted out of the juggernaut that is Butler. He’s a point guard with quality size (listed at 6-foot-3, 207 pounds), which helps to make up for subpar athleticism from the point guard spot. In 20 appearances with the Hawks last season (he also played with the Wizards and 76ers), Mack shot 49% from the field and 40% from 3-point distance, and that helped to facilitate some decent playing time (13.4 minutes per game).
As far as strengths are concerned, Mack uses his size well to isolate on smaller players, and he excels in the pick-and-roll game. It’s unclear whether his shooting numbers from the Hawks are an aberration, but he’s been significantly worse than that in other stops. He is, at the very least, an average defender who could tick upward in certain situations such as squaring off with less-than-speedy point guards.
On the negative side, we mentioned Mack’s shooting, and frankly, I don’t think he will make enough shots to sustain any real NBA rotation time. He is a career 33% shooter from 3-point distance in 95 games, and that number would need to tick up in a real way. In addition, the 23-year-old is pretty one-dimensional as far as shot creation, and if the pick-and-roll game isn’t there, he isn’t an explosive player off the dribble thanks to his athletic limitations.
Role on the Roster
This is a pretty simply one. Mack exists on the roster purely as a 3rd point guard, and that is his absolute ceiling barring a catastrophe of injuries. In fact, I believe that Mike Budenholzer and company would go with Lou Williams as a “primary” point guard before turning the reins over to Mack, and that tells you all you need to know. It’s possible that Mack could see some occasional court time if Williams isn’t ready to start the season and the Hawks choose to use the Teague/Schroder duo together, but that’s really the only scenario.
My “prediction” was pretty much revealed in his roster role, and I see Mack as a pure 3rd point guard. He would be high on the chopping block list if the Hawks needed an emergency roster spot (thanks to the aforementioned flexibility provided by Lou Williams), and he’ll be gaining bench splinters alongside Jared Cunningham and, potentially, Mike Scott.