Mike Scott: A more efficient player in 2015-16?


Mike Scott has been a strong scorer off the Atlanta Hawks’ bench this yes, despite playing fewer minutes. Has this made him in turn a more efficient player?

One of the better stories of the early part of the 2015-16 Atlanta Hawks has been the overall strong play of reserve power forward Mike Scott. Scott had an embarrassing arrest earlier this year in Banks County involving excessive speeding and possession of illegal substances.

Many thought Scott was facing some serious jail time, but he has seemed to have put that behind him and is playing some great basketball as a part of the Atlanta Hawks’ bench rotation. While Mike Scott is only averaging 6.0 points and 12.5 minutes per game, his play has improved this year despite getting less playing time for head coach Mike Budenholzer.

Scott is shooting the basketball better than he has since joining the Atlanta Hawks in 2012. Every shooting percentage for Scott in 2015-16 is at a career-best (.495/.368/.800). He’s even matched his career best PER of 16.3, well over a point better than the set league average of 15.0.

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Mike Scott is having his most efficient offensive season of his NBA career in 2015-16 and his 113 offensive rating would certainly indicate that. His 113 offensive rating ties Paul Millsap‘s for the team lead.

So with Mike Scott being a more efficient player this season on the offensive side of the floor, does that mean it translates to improvements in his defensive game? Not exactly, as Scott’s defensive rating of 109 is the worst of any player regularly used in Bud’s rotation. Scott is a good reserve offensive stretch four, but is still very much a liability on the defensive end of the floor.

What I think is happening in Atlanta with regards to Mike Scott is that the coaching staff is being more meticulous of when to use him on the floor. They know that his offensive talents can carry the second unit at times, but his sub-par defense is still an area opponents like to attack when he is on the floor.

While Mike Scott is third on the Atlanta Hawks in offensive box plus minus at 1.0 behind only Paul Millsap (2.7) and Al Horford (1.5), his defensive box plus minus of -2.8 is the worst of any player regularly used in Bud’s rotation.

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Mike Scott’s best shooting season per minute as a professional is keeping him tied for 10th in the Atlanta Hawks’ rotation with power forward Mike Muscala, but his consistently underwhelming defense is keeping him from getting more than 12.5 minutes per game. Atlanta loves what Scott can bring to their offense, but has to get creative to account for his still prevalent defensive inefficiencies in year four in the Association.