Why the Hawks Can’t Afford to Lose Mike Scott

The Hawks now stand at 51-14 and are coasting towards the East’s number one seed with a 10 game lead on second-place Cleveland. One of the few concerns the Hawks have on their hands down the final stretch is staying healthy. Thabo Sefolosha has been itching closer to his return and the Hawks have been anticipating having their roster being back at full strength. Unfortunately, news broke that Mike Scott’s toe strain that was “no big deal” has been revealed to in fact be a broken toe. Scott is headed back to Atlanta where he will meet with doctors Monday. This injury usually takes 4-6 weeks for a full recovery. To add some depth to the roster in Scott’s absence, the Hawks have announced they signed Austin Daye to a 10-day contract.

​Mike Scott plays a huge role in the team’s second unit. Although, the Hawks system is built around ball movement, Mike Scott can still play that “bailout” roll. He can be the guy that takes the awkward shot at the end of the shot clock and sink it. He can create offense on his own when the system breaks down. And although Mike Scott is not the most consistent three point shooter, he has the ability to get red hot and become an electrifying scorer. His progression as a 3-point shooter since being drafted by the Hawks has been unbelievable. He went from not making a single 3-point shot in 40 games as a rookie to shooting 35% from beyond the arc so far this season. He is one of many second round picks (Millsap, Korver) to flourish in Bud’s system.

What makes Mike Scott so valuable is he can come off the bench in huge games and stroke it. Immediately coming off the bench, you know if Scott will be hot or not. He is not afraid of the moment and makes differences in games. A lot of bench guys know their role and play it without really making a difference. They constantly look just pretty average night in and night out. Mike Scott is not that kind of player. His role changes every night. Some nights he could be asked score and some nights he could barely see the floor. He is a streaky player and Coach Bud seems to be a good judge of whether Scott is hot or not. Scott is one of many Hawks players you see hit double digit points off the bench.

A type of player like Scott can play a huge role when the playoffs come around. Last season he did just that. In Game 5 of the Indiana series, Mike Scott hit five 3-point shots in a row(Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZGAO8veLDM). In the Hawks’ three wins this year against their Eastern Conference foe Cleveland Cavaliers, Scott is averaging 13.7 points while shooting at an efficient 59% from the field. He is not the guy who is going to take the last shot, but he is a guy who can put up 10 points in 4 straight possessions on a night when the Hawks have been struggling offensively. He also has a reputation for slamming down huge momentum changing dunks off the bench. It does not take much time for Scott to put his fingerprint on the game and he is not going to be easily replaced. If this injury effects whether Scott plays or how he plays in the playoffs, it could be detrimental to the Hawks’ chances of winning a NBA championship in 2015. We at SportsTalkATL wish Mike a speedy recovery.

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