Archives For Jeff Teague

The Atlanta Hawks kicked off the month of February the right way, as they took care of business on their home floor with a 112-97 victory against the Dallas Mavericks. After their poor display in Miami, the Hawks showed great energy on the second night of this back-to-back, and came out on top with a victory that they desperately needed, after losing five of their last six games.

The Jeff Teague show

“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get”. Most of you know this quote from the timeless classic that is Forrest Gump, but we’re going to repurpose this quote for our needs. Let’s replace the word “Life” with “The 2015-16 Jeff Teague”, and now you have an accurate representation of Jeff Teague’s season, in quote form. Last night Jeff Teague was the star of the show, pouring out a season-high 32 points on 12-of-15 shooting (including a career high five three-pointers made), eight assists, and five rebounds.

Teague came out of the gates strong, and made an effort to attack in the opening stages — firing a shot (one of his few missed shots) just 19 seconds into the game, and drawing a foul while attempting a layup after a solid drive to the basket following a Millsap screen on D-Will just a few minutes.

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Atlanta’s January nightmare is finally over — but the ending wasn’t pretty. A 105-85 loss against the Miami Heat last night capped off a 6-9 January — a complete contrast to their January of 2015 when they went undefeated, going 17-0. Their latest defeat is their third in a row and their fifth in their last six games.

Offensive struggles continue

Prior to this game the Hawks were averaging just 95 points per game in their last five games — shooting 42.3% from the field and 32.1% from downtown. In the build up to this game Mike Budenholzer stated that is has been Atlanta’s offense that has been the issue of late, but has been happy with the defense:

“Defensively we are playing a lot better. We are doing a lot of things well defensively. I think offensively, I don’t think any of us feel great about how we are playing. It’s a lot of little things. It’s not any one big, glaring thing.”

Despite identifying one culprit of the the Hawks’ recent struggles (the offense), the Hawks’ offensive woes continued last night — scoring just 87 points on 38.6% shooting from the field, and 22.7% from behind the arc. The Hawks were finding themselves in great positions with great shot opportunities — from mid-range shots, open three-point shots, to easy layups, but just couldn’t finish them. This would be one encouragement to takeaway from this game — the Hawks got themselves in good situations but just couldn’t convert their chances on this particular night.

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The Atlanta Hawks dropped their first game home after their four game road trip in what can only be described as an ugly, 85-83 affair with the L.A. Clippers. It’s a normal occurrence in the NBA for teams who have been on a lengthy road trip to have a let down game in their home return and this was no exception. In this tough loss, what were the takeaways from the first meeting of the season between the Clippers and the Hawks?

Jeff Teague’s haircut

“Handsome young man” – Bob Rathbun.

teague

 

And moving swiftly on…

Lack of bench scoring

The Hawks’ bench made life very difficult for the starters, who essentially had to carry the entire offensive load. The bench scored just 12 points and were outscored by Jamal Crawford by himself, let alone the Clippers’ bench who outscored the Atlanta bench 39-12. Though, it wasn’t that the Hawks bench were outscored by Jamal Crawford by nine points that was concerning — the Hawks bench didn’t register a single point in the second half nor did they register a single free throw attempt in the second half. That’s incredible. Continue Reading…

The Atlanta Hawks wrapped up their four game road trip with a 119-105 victory over the Denver Nuggets. Having missed the Hawks’ last game in Phoenix, Paul Millsap rejoined the team in the Mile High City as the Hawks finished the road trip on a positive note. Millsap led the charge with 22 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one block, illustrating (if it wasn’t obvious already) why he is arguably the most important player on the Hawks’ roster. This was an important win for the Hawks after the desperately disappointing loss to the 13-31 Phoenix Suns. What were the takeaways from this fixture?

Teague’s improved outing

A lot of people have been quick to criticise Jeff Teague for his inconsistency recently (which, to be fair, has been warranted), but let’s give him credit when he does have a good game. He bounced back from his disappointing outing in Phoenix with a 12 points, 10 assists display against the Nuggets.

One of Teague’s better qualities is his ability to penetrate and draw the attention of the defense. Time and time again last night Teague drew the attention of defense. When the defense began to commit/fully committed to help, Teague would just hand over the ball to the open big man, whether it was Splitter, Horford, Millsap or Mike Scott, who would finish the play. This was one of the contributing reasons as to why the Hawks scored 56 points in the paint. And for the occasions when the ball wasn’t dumped off to a big in the paint, it found its way to the three-point line. On two separate occasions in the second half, in the same corner, Teague connected with Kyle Korver for open three-pointers after Teague drew the attention of Korver’s man. Continue Reading…

I’m happy to present a guest column from Irish NBA writer Graham Chapple — BG

As the regular season has gone from its early beginnings to its halfway point, teams are now more aware of their strengths and weaknesses — and how they rank among the competition — than they were at the beginning of the season. Some teams realize that their front court is too crowded, their bench isn’t giving them the lift they require or that almost nothing is working. For all such teams there is the trade season when teams can flip their surplus assets for something that can be of benefit, whether it’s right now (an established player) or for the future (a young player or draft pick).

Teams like the New York Knicks, Utah Jazz and Brooklyn Nets are examples of teams who could really use a point guard to stabilize the position. Fans have taken notice of their teams’ weakness, prompting them to fantasize about potential trades for a quality point guard. One particular point guard that fans are yearning for is third-year German point guard Dennis Schröder.

And why wouldn’t they? Dennis is a talented young point guard who has starter potential. He’s lightning quick, with the ability to collapse the defense on drives to the rim. He can also pass and defend. If he improves as a finisher and develops even an average 3-point shot, he’ll be a very solid point guard for any team whether it’s in a starting or bench role. Continue Reading…

A lot of alarm has been caused by the Hawks’ slow start to the season. After 60 wins and an Eastern Conference Finals berth in the 2014-15 season, the Atlanta team is out to a mediocre 14-12 start to the 2015-16 campaign.

What is the difference? Could it be the departure of DeMarre Carroll, who was often seen as the “glue guy” for last year’s Hawks team? Could it simply be a regression from last year’s team that appeared to see every player peak in the same season? Is it rebounding? Coaching? What happened?

Jeff Teague happened. Or I guess he has failed to happen so far this year.

On the surface, it looks like Teague has had a normal year compared to his past starting seasons with Atlanta. He’s averaging over 15 points per game, he has six assists per game, and he’s averaging just under three turnovers per game. Over the past five seasons — which is when he became Atlanta’s starter — these are almost his exact numbers. While you would generally hope for improvement from a 27 year old, All-Star caliber player, there is really nothing completely wrong with those numbers. So what’s wrong? Continue Reading…

The Atlanta Hawks (10-7) traveled to Minnesota (7-8) looking to build upon a strong win against Boston and exorcise demons from their earlier loss to the Timberwolves. They failed to do so in a 99-95 loss in Target Arena.

The T’Wolves bench accounted for 58 of their 99 point total. Minnesota was led by 13 points on just five shots from Damjan Rudez and Zach LaVine’s 18 points, six assist and five rebound night.

Reigning rookie of the year Andrew Wiggins was kept in check most of the night with an inefficient line of 15 points on 17 shots, but muscled up a bucket in the lane after taking body contact from Paul Millsap to put the Timberwolves up 98-94 with 1:24 left to go. The Hawks only netted one point in the final two minutes amid turnovers and bad shots, sealing the game for the home team.

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The Atlanta Hawks returned to the place their breakout 2014-15 season ended and suffered a similar fate in a 109-97 loss. In front of a sellout Quicken Loans Arena crowd, Kevin Love led the Cavs with 25 points and 11 rebounds and LeBron James added 19 points and 11 rebounds. The Hawks only had one lead and were never really in the game past the opening minutes.

The big story was the ejection of coach Mike Budenholzer after just one technical foul. Coach Bud was giving Ben Taylor some words after Justin Holiday was hit in the face on a drive without a whistle, and he appeared to make contact with the fifth year referee, which would warrant the immediate ejection. After the game, coach Bud stated that he did not immediately realize he bumped Taylor and that the contact was unintentional.

Kenny Atkinson took over the coaching duties from there but there would be no emotional rally from Atlanta.

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The Hawks erased a 34 point deficit to take a 107-106 lead over the Timberwolves with 3:33 to play on a Paul Millsap driving layup, but failed to score again in Monday night’s 117-107 loss at Philips Arena. Andrew Wiggins scored seven straight (on a career-high tying 33 point night) and Minnesota ended the game on an 11-0 run, dashing Atlanta’s hopes of pulling off the third-largest comeback in NBA history. The Hawks dropped to 7-2 and fell to second in the Eastern Conference behind the 6-1 Cavaliers, while Minnesota improved to 4-2.

The first half was about as ugly as it gets, with Tiago Splitter’s minus-3 a team best. Minnesota absolutely dismantled Atlanta’s defense, shooting 64% from the field (50% on 3-pointers) and doubling the Hawks’ 11 boards. The Timberwolves outscored Atlanta in the paint 36-20, 10-0 on second chance points and 21-2 on fast break points and the Hawks went to the locker room down 72-42.

Coach Mike Budenholzer let the starters begin the third quarter in hopes of chipping away at the 30 point deficit. Asked if he gave a big speech at halftime, Coach Bud said he simply made the decision to give the starting unit an opportunity to make a game of it in the third quarter.

“I told the guys lets give it five or eight minutes,” said Budenholzer. “Let’s see what happens. Different things happen in our league.” Continue Reading…

Last year the Atlanta Hawks took the NBA by surprise as they finished 60-22 and 12-4 in divisional play. This year poses a different challenge for Coach Bud and the team with expectations much higher than in recent seasons. Additionally, not only did the Eastern Conference get a much-needed face-lift, but the Southeast Division will also pose a much tougher challenge to these Hawks. Here’s a preview of what to expect from Atlanta’s division opponents in 2015-16:

Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets fan base came into last season with high hopes coming off a 7th seed finish two years ago and the acquisition of Lance Stephenson in the offseason. So last year’s 33-49 record along with Stephenson’s 39% field goal percentage seemed like a bad joke Michael Jordan played on everyone.

In his third season, coach Steve Clifford will need to take the next step by placing more emphasis on improving the offensive scheme that ranked 28th in offensive efficiency last year. The addition of Nicholas Batum adds to an already stout defensive unit as well as a small forward that can stretch the floor. His presence on defense will be much needed with the loss of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to a torn labrum and seperated shoulder, suffered in last weekend’s preseason game against Orlando, that will sideline him for 6 months. Continue Reading…