The Clippers have only brought in three new players this summer. One is Marcin Gortat, who was traded for Austin Rivers, and whose Q&A with Jake from Bullets Forever can be found here. The second is Luc Mbah a Moute, who is already familiar to Clippers’ fans due to his stint on the team from 2015-2017. The third is Mike Scott, who was also on the Wizards last year. I therefore turned to Jake one more time to get some insight onto the hot-shooting forward.
1. Mike Scott easily had the best year of his career last year, at age 29. A lot of that was based on incredibly efficient shooting. How much of that is sustainable?
I’m not sure Scott will ever quite hit the numbers he hit this year again, because he got a massive boost from a ridiculous performance in December. During that month, he shot 61 percent from the field and 41 percent from deep. That’s the kind of month you have once in a career if you’re lucky.
If you take that month out, he would’ve been a 49.4 percent shooter from the field and a 37.3 percent shooter from deep, good for a .571 true shooting percentage. I think those are perfectly sustainable numbers and good enough to be a useful reserve.
2. If Scott’s shooting does fall off, can he still be a playable rotation player? Or is almost all of his value tied to his shooting, especially from deep?
Scott actually shot the ball less from deep than I thought he would this season. He took nearly as many mid-range (158) shots as he did from beyond the arc (163) and shot 56.3 percent on those shots, so even if his long ball isn’t dropping, he’s gotten better at exploiting the gaps in defenses that are focused on protecting the arc and the paint.
That said, if his jumper falls off completely, that would make it hard for him to be useful. He’s learned a lot of tricks from Hawks University when it comes to making smart moves off the ball to get layups and make quick, decisive passes to set up other players, but I don’t think it would add enough value to compensate for his shortcomings defensively at that point.
3. What kind positional versatility does Scott have, if any? I know he played mostly power forward last year for the Wiz. Could he get any minutes at small forward or center and still be effective?
I wouldn’t advise it other than in very specific, unique situations. Offensively, he can be useful at small forward and center, but it isn’t worth what you lose on the defensive end most of the time. Scott Brooks tried a few different things with Scott at center to try to get away from using Mahinmi at times, but it rarely worked because he doesn’t have the size, speed, or strength to hold up against most lineups. You’re best off with Scott at power forward 95 percent of the time, if not more.
Thanks again to Jake for his insight into both Scott and Marcin. Check out Bullets Forever to see my answers to Jake’s questions on Austin Rivers, and to read their fantastic site in general!