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NBA Playoffs Playbook: Mike Scott, aka Young Emoji of the House of Atlanta Hawks, Flexes on Indiana Pacers’ Luis Scola

Apr 26, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward Mike Scott (32) shoots the ball against the Indiana Pacers in the third quarter in game four of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

After the Pacers stole a win in Atlanta in Game 4 on Saturday, there was a reasonable expectation that they’d come home to Indiana and take care of business. A win Monday night would have given them a 3-2 series lead and a belief that despite a scare from the Hawks, they would make it out of this series alive. There was just one problem; Mike Scott, the man they call Young Emoji, had other ideas.

Before Atlanta’s first round series against Indiana, Mike Scott was—at least to casual NBA fans—a nobody. Sure, some people would probably say they had heard his name before. But they would be lying to you if they said they knew a lot about him. And they were probably confusing him with a musician they really didn’t know, either.

But then we found out that he has emoji tattoos, and he’s rightfully become everyone’s playoff hero. How can you not love a man with tattoos of emojis? It’s not possible. Then, last night, he became an on the court hero as well, the living embodiment of the fire emoji, draining five threes—all in the second quarter—to help the Hawks secure a vital Game 5 victory. So how exactly was Young Emoji able to drop five threes in one quarter? Let’s take a closer look in today’s Playoffs Playbook.

First, let’s check out his first three ball. Over on the right side of the court, Scott sets a screen for Shelvin Mack. Scola, however, because he’s old and slow and can’t move very well, simply stays put and doesn’t follow Scott up to the wing.

1-1

Mack uses the screen, and Scott pops out to the three-point line. Scola once again stays put, deciding to help contain Mack instead of sticking with Scott.

2-1

Scola does prevent Mack from getting into the paint, but he doesn’t put any pressure whatsoever on the pass, and Mack is able to hit Scott—who is wide open—with ease. Scola has absolutely no chance to recover at that point, and it’s becomes a great look for Scott.

3-1

Yeah, that’s just too easy for Young Emoji. He’ll burn the nets down with fire emojis all day if you give him that kind of space.

4-1

All right, so what do you think happened the next time down the court for the Hawks? If you guessed the exact same thing, then congratulations, you’ve won 500 Schrute Bucks!

Over on the right side of the court, Scott sets a screen for Shelvin Mack. Scola, however, because he’s old and slow and can’t move very well, simply stays put and doesn’t follow Scott up to the wing.

1-2

Mack uses the screen, and Scott pops out to the three-point line. Scola once again stays put, deciding to help contain Mack instead of sticking with Scott.

2-2

Scola does prevent Mack from getting into the paint, but he doesn’t put any pressure whatsoever on the pass, and Mack is able to hit Scott—who is wide open—with ease. Scola has absolutely no chance to recover at that point, and it’s becomes a great look for Scott.

3-2

That’s just too easy for Young Emoji. He’ll burn the nets down with fire emojis all day if you give him that kind of space.

4-2

(Yes, I just copied and pasted what I wrote from the first three-pointer. Don’t worry about it. If the Pacers aren’t going to change up their defense in the slightest, then why should I change up what I wrote?)

Finally, let’s look at another scenario in which Scola simply did not get the job done against Scott. This one is a little bit different.

Here we have Scott chilling at the top of the key while Elton Brand works in the mid-post on the left side of the court. Meanwhile, Scola, as he’s wont to do, is sagging into the paint.

1-3

Scola makes a classic mistake here of leaving himself in no man’s land. He’s not close enough to double down on Brand or disrupt a pass, but he’s too far away to prevent a catch-and-shoot from Scott. Considering that Scott has just drilled two threes less than a minute ago, I have no idea what Scola’s thinking here. When Brand inevitably feeds Scott, Scola can’t get out there in time.

2-3

He’s at least closer to Scott than he was on those last two examples, but Scott was feeling it. And as we all know, the bank is always open for Young Emoji.

3-3

With Scott’s ability to step out and flex on Scola, this is a matchup that the Hawks exploited. There has been a lot of discussion about Atlanta creating matchup problems for Indiana, and this is a prime example. However, after Young Emoji’s brilliant quarter, the Pacers countered by going to Chris Copeland instead of Scola in the second half. Scola didn’t get off the bench, while Copeland—who didn’t play in the first half—played nearly 20 minutes. Scott meanwhile, went 0-3, following up his 17 point first half with zero in the second.

Going into an elimination game in Game 6, it will be interesting to see if the Pacers decide to go with Copeland from the get go. If they do, we might not see quite the shooting performance from Young Emoji that we saw Monday night.

tl;dr — Luis Scola is old and slow and can’t cover Mike Scott. Who is the fire emoji.

Jack Maloney

  • asdfasdgas

    scott is pathetic. he banks in a 3 and thinks that he’s god. even the losers get lucky sometimes. hawks are riding a streak of massive luck. scott and mack making every shot no matter how bad the look, or the form. jeez once they revert to their averages i will laugh and laugh. too bad it will be against the wizards and everyone will suddenly think the wiz are a lock down defense, then will be exposed against miami.
    even the losers.

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