Throwback Thursday - Scott Skiles
Scott Skiles, born March 5, 1964, currently is the head coach of the Orlando Magic. He also coached the Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls, and Milwaukee Bucks. A first-round draft pick out of Michigan State University, Skiles played ten seasons as a point guard in the NBA. He holds the NBA record for assists in one game with 30, set in his fifth season in the league and second with Orlando, in which he also earned the 1990–91 NBA Most Improved Player Award.
The Milwaukee Bucks made Skiles the 22nd selection of the 1986 NBA Draft. In ten seasons, he played for the Bucks (1986–87), Indiana Pacers (1987–89), Orlando Magic (1989–94), Washington Bullets (1994–95), and Philadelphia 76ers (1995–96).
Skiles was little used his rookie season with the Bucks, averaging 3.8 points and 3.5 assists in just 13 games off the bench.
With the Indiana Pacers the next season Skiles averaged even fewer minutes but played in more games, increasing his scoring marginally to 4.4 points and posting the same 3.5 assists per game in 50 games, just two of them starts. He played in 80 games in 1988-89, starting just 13 and averaging 6.8 points and 4.9 assists in slightly under 20 minutes a game.
In 1989 Skiles was selected by the newly formed Orlando Magic in the NBA expansion draft. Mainly a backup point guard, he scored 7.7 points and posted 4.8 assists in 20.9 minutes per game in 70 games, 48 off the bench. In 1990-91 he transitioned to a starting role at the position, jumping to a career high 17.2 points and improved 8.4 assists in 34.4 minutes over 79 games and 66 starts. The season was highlighted on December 30, 1990, when Skiles racked up 30 assists in Orlando's 155-116 victory over the Denver Nuggets at Orlando Arena, breaking Kevin Porter's NBA single-game assists record (29). His well more than doubling scoring and nearly doubling his assists marks from the previous year earned him the NBA Most Improved Player Award.
The next year, 1991–92, was a bit of a backslide, dropping to 14.1 points and 7.3 assists in 31.7 minutes in 75 games, with games started, field goals made, field goal percentage, 2-pointers made, 2-point percentage, 3-pointers made, 3-point percentage, free throws, free throw percentage, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, total rebounds, and steals all falling off.
1992-93 saw a bouncing back nearly across the board, with scoring up to 15.4 points, a career high 9.4 assists, and career highs in shooting percentage and 2-point shooting percentage in a career high 39.6 minutes in 78 games, all starts.
Skiles played in all 82 games in 1993-94 but only started 46, showing severe drop-offs in minutes, field goals, field goal percentage, 2-pointers made, 2-point percentage, rebounds, assists, and scoring, posting just 9.9 points and 6.1 assists per game.
As a Washington Bullets in 1994-95 Skiles' minutes were back up to 33.5 per game in just 62 games, all starts, and improvements were shown in virtually every statistical category, though points per game only rose to 13.0 and assists to 7.3.
It was one and out in D.C., with Skiles moving on to the Philadelphia 76ers in his final NBA season in 1995-96. Appearing in only 10 games Skiles stats backslid again, with only 6.3 points and 3.8 assists in 23.6 minutes per game over 9 starts. With that the NBA lost one of its scrappiest players and best free-throw shooters.