The Battle of the Backups: Delaney and Thomas


Atlanta Hawks v Miami Heat
Isaiah Taylor (

If you have been paying attention, this season there have been multiple stretches where either Malcolm Delaney would play and Isaiah Taylor wouldn’t scratch the surface and vice versa. Some instances due to injuries and other situations because of Coach Bud’s coaching strategy. Either way it goes, there has been a battle between the backup point guards this year, and despite our record they have raised some eyebrows with their play this season.

This is Malcolm Delaney’s second season with the Hawks. His first year he averaged 5.4 points per game and 2.6 assists. This year he’s averaging 6.2 points per game and 3.0 assists per game. Slight improvement, but he has produced this year for sure. He is a nice patient point guard who excels in passing and getting teammates open. His biggest performance this year was against the OKC Thunder on December 20, 2017 where he scored 20 points off of 7/10 shooting and also had 6 assists.

Isaiah Taylor is also in his second season in the NBA, first with the Hawks. Right now he’s averaging 5.3 points per game and 2.4 assists. Isaiah is a very fast player. He’s quick and he has great ability passing defenders to get to the basket. His biggest outing this season was February 23rd against The Indiana Pacers where he scored 17 points off of 7/10 shooting and also had 6 assists and 2 steals.

Now the issue at hand is that one of these two players are not going to be here next season. With the direction this franchise is going, anyone is bound to get traded, released, or not resigned. From a fans perspective I would like to see Atlanta not trade Isaiah Taylor. He’s only 23, he has one more year on his contract and he shows flashes of being a great consistent back up point guard in this league and for the Hawks. Malcom Delaney turns 29 this month and he is only in his second year in the NBA. He’s a solid point guard don’t get me wrong, but the Hawks are trying to become younger and unfortunately he doesn’t fit in this “age range” situation. I see Isaiah Taylor as the next primary point guard after this season.


Ryan Thurman | @StrokeGame24

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