Golf is a frustrating sport. Every swing brings a different emotion. With one swing you may think you could figure this thing out. The next swing you are throwing the club into the water hazard you just lost your ball in.
When I don’t play golf for awhile, I actually come out playing well. There are no expectations, I don’t have any lingering bad habits or bad thoughts from the last round. I just go out there, play loose and build some confidence. Then that confidence betrays me as I come crashing down to earth scoring in the 100’s.
Shelvin Mack has been a lot like an amateur playing golf this season.
He hadn’t played basketball since April. He was rested, in a new environment and had a clean slate. There were no expectations for him as all the pressure was on Andrew Harrison to perform.
Mack came out the gates on fire. So much fire. Enough fire to keep this team warm while Mike Conley was still a little cold from his recovery. This great start led to Bickerstaff gaining confidence in him. Confidence that is now, betraying him.
The reality is that Shelvin Mack has never been a positive +/- player in his NBA career. He has been in the league for 11 seasons now, playing for 6 teams. If he was such a great back up, he would not be averaging less than two seasons per team.
The Real Shelvin Mack is unfortunately standing up
Remember 13 games in when Shelvin lead the team in offensive efficiency and was 5th in defensive efficiency? When he was the consistent piece in the three best statistical lineups the team had so far?
His offensive efficiency has plummeted from 117.9 to 102. That 102 is good tied for 8th on the team. No one is surprised or impressed that he is ahead of Wayne Selden or MarShon Brooks as they have been just as bad.
Mack has gone from 5th in defensive rating to 12th on this team (107-110).
His 102 offensive rating is on par with his career average. He has only been better than 102 in two of his 11 seasons in the association. His defensive rating is currently worse than his career average, which is to be expected as he is an aging player.
For his career Mack is a -2.5 box +/-.
Back To The Course
So Mack managed to build up that early season confidence and is milking it. This confidence in Mack, while earned, has betrayed JB and if he continues to ride a career negative player over a spark plug rookie point guard, his Lionel-like stubbornness may ride him right to the actual golf course.
Mack is now the player he has been his entire career. The notion that they struck gold with a free agent point guard as the best back up point guard in franchise history is dead and was ridiculous from the beginning. Take the disrespect off of Udrih and Mario Chalmers, they don't deserve that.
JB needs to give Mack’s minutes to Jevon Carter and Carter’s minutes to Mack. We appreciate the load Mack carried buying time for Mike to figure things out, but choosing to play Mack over Jaren Jackson Jr in crunch time is no longer effective nor funny.