After Breakout Season, Mack Finally Gets Security
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The Hawks have brought back restricted free agent Shelvin Mack to round out Atlanta’s point guard rotation along with Jeff Teague and Dennis Schröder. Mack had a breakout season last year with the Hawks, taking over as the back-up point guard behind Teague early in the season and averaged 7.5 points, 3.7 assists, and 2.2 rebounds per game -- all career highs.
He took great strides last year to become a better overall point guard and taking command of the offense. Mack took to Coach Bud’s offense quickly, and made himself very valuable with his command of the offense and ability to limit mistakes -- he averaged just 1.2 turnovers per game.
Along with limiting mistakes, Mack was a good enough shooter to be a threat when on the court, particularly alongside the starting rotation. As a secondary option he was at his best, pressuring defenses and facilitating when on the ball, while being a threat to shoot when off the ball. He shot a solid 34.1 percent from three-point range.
With the apparent improvements made by Schröder this offseason, the Hawks figure to have an impressive trio of point guards for the 2014-15 season. Coach Bud showed last season that he will use two point guards together at times, and if he can be more confident in Schröder to play more minutes, it seems we could see the two-point-guard lineups again this season. In the time he did spend at the two-guard in small lineups, he performed well, and that could be an option for the Hawks to get all three point guards more extended minutes.
Danny Ferry, Coach Bud, and the rest of the Hawks staff have often praised the group they had last season both on and off the court, so it makes sense that they would bring back a guy like Mack. He has the corporate knowledge that is so valuable to the organization, played well in the system last season, and is a high character player that is well-liked in the locker room.
Story by Robby Kalland