Ex-Euro Star Malcolm Delaney hopes to prove that the Atlanta Hawks made the right decision
Most NBA fans have probably never heard of Malcolm Delaney before. But that’s only because he’s been playing professionally in Europe for the last five seasons.
As a versatile scorer, the Atlanta Hawks liked what they saw in his play oversees so much so, that they decided to bring him stateside.
However, now with Jarrett Jack getting waived Malcolm Delaney is going to be the teams back up point guard come opening night.
Going into only his first season in the NBA, after staring overseas in the Euroleague (averaged 16.3 points per game, while shooting 40.2 percent from deep), Malcolm is looking to make a name for himself on basketballs biggest stage.
He earned a reputation in Europe for being a lethal scorer at the point guard position with great ball-handlings skills and the ability to hit pull-up jumpers. Time and time again he even showed off the ability score clutch baskets in big games.
Yet, none of that matters in the eyes of his peers. You can have all the success in the world outside of the league, but it doesn’t matter until you assert yourself among the best players in the world. The good thing is though; he has already looked the part of an NBA player thus far into the preseason.
Malcolm believes his play should continue to translate to the NBA game, because he has more space to play with out on the court (Europe doesn’t have the 3 in the key rule, so big men tend to pack the paint.)
Interviewer: What’s been some of the differences you’ve seen so far in Euro ball and NBA ball?
Malcolm Delaney: “The biggest thing is athleticism and speed. Spacing on the NBA court makes it a lot easier, especially for guards. In Europe everybody packs the paint in. You can’t really do much, so it’s tougher to score and get assists. But here with people not being able to stay in the paint, it’s a lot easier for guards. Especially myself so I can make plays,”
With more skilled players on the court alongside him it’s also going to allow him to show off his underrated passing skills. Especially with the shooters Atlanta has at their disposal.
But be that as it may, Malcolm’s bread and butter is going to continue to be his knack for scoring the ball. He was the second leading scorer in the Euroleague last season, behind only Nando De Colo. So his scoring should be helpful to the Atlanta Hawks second unit that sat in the middle of the pack amongst the leagues best reserves (ranked 16th in the league averaging 34.4 points per game.)
If anything, the defensive side of the ball might be the only place where the struggles can arise. But he has faired well on that end through 5 preseason games, so hopefully that’s a sign of good things to come.
Delaney is going to be the teams lead point guard off the bench for the upcoming season (barring any unforeseen trades or signings.) With that he needs to take advantage of the opportunity now.
The Atlanta Hawks don’t have any other point guards on the roster behind Dennis Schroder, and Dennis is going into just his first season as the star point guard for the team, so he isn’t going to be seeing heavy minutes on a consistent basis.
Leaving Malcolm Delaney as the likely recipient to earn himself a good portion of playing time behind him. Averaging around 20 minutes a game is a possibility for Malcolm this year, so he’s going to have to produce, in order to show the organization he was worth the investment.