Archives For Jeff Teague

Before I preview Game 3, I’d like to say I believe people are missing the full story on the great incoming ownership group that has been selected for the Hawks. Presuming the group fronted by Tony Ressler is approved by the NBA, the days of running the franchise “on the cheap” could be over. Ressler isn’t the only billionaire in the group.

The NBA is set to score a major coup by bringing Sara Blakely and Jesse Itzler into the ownership family. Blakely moved to Atlanta and founded the Spanx shapewear empire, becoming the youngest female self-made billionaire. Although she and husband Itzler are Atlanta transplants, they are true Hawks fans whom I suspect are committed to keeping the franchise in Atlanta permanently. The NBA is adding a female owner with Oprah Winfrey levels of success and credibility.

Itzler is a co-founder of Marquis Jet and formerly rapped under the moniker Jesse Jaymes. You can see the video for Shake It Like A White Girl on YouTube. Hopefully he doesn’t disavow his hip hop career like Mark Wahlberg. I’m still down with the Funky Bunch. Anyways, on to basketball. Continue Reading…

Deron Williams fell asleep at the wheel, cheating toward the 3-point line as DeMarre Carroll cut back door for an uncontested layup and a 92-89 Hawks lead with 55 seconds remaining. The Hawks closed out at the free throw line and defeated the Nets 96-91 at Phillips Arena to take a 2-0 series lead. The first-round series will now shift to Brooklyn for Game 3 Saturday at 3 PM and Game 4 Monday (time TBA).

The Hawks appeared to take control in the third quarter before Brooklyn staged a comeback in the fourth to make things a little too interesting. Pero Antić hit a 3-pointer with 4:39 to play in the third to restore a 63-61 lead to Atlanta as the Hawks closed the quarter on a 15-6 run. Kent Bazemore followed with a momentum-shifting block of a Brook Lopez layup attempt. The run included a thunderous dunk from Antić, a Paul Millsap 16-footer, a Mike Scott 3-pointer and an Al Horford layup as Atlanta led 75-67 through three quarters.

The fourth quarter opened with a Dennis Schröder blow-by of Jarrett Jack and a reverse layup for Bazemore set up by a beautiful pass from Horford. That extended the lead to 79-69. Millsap then hit his fourth 3-pointer on 4-for-4 shooting to put the Hawks in front 82-73 with 8:14 remaining. Horford then stuffed Deron Williams at the rim and nailed a 14-foot baseline jumper off a Schröder pass to put the Hawks up 84-73 with 7:37 left on the clock. Continue Reading…

Earlier in the season I wrote about the numbers versus perception of Jeff Teague’s defense. While the numbers show that Teague has taken a dramatic step forward this season, the eye test still betrays lapses where Teague doesn’t give full effort.

The disconnect between perception and metrics is also startling for Dennis Schröder. While Teague often appears to be going through the motions, Schröder is always down in his stance with active hands. He’s quick, has an enormous wingspan and a reputation as an excellent defender. And yet, somehow Teague is ranked as the 9th-best defensive point guard in the NBA by ESPN.com’s Real Plus-Minus while Schröder is ranked 64th of 84 point guards rated.

At the bottom of this post you will find a continuation of a tradition I started during last year’s playoffs. I have compiled the “Enhanced Play-by-Play” for Game 1 and, at the end, listed the individual “defensive miscues” by play. These are instances where an advantage is created for an offensive player because a defender is out of position. Defensive miscues are not necessarily mistakes. Defensive scheme may call for a player to double team or guard a different area of the floor. Teams play the averages with their defensive schemes, but a defensive miscue happens when a defensive player makes a mistake or plays the averages and loses. Continue Reading…

In the past few years, the Hawks have often not had much in terms of expectations for the playoffs. In those years, a win in Game 1 would have usually been seen as a huge victory.

On Sunday, the Hawks’ 99-92 Game 1 win over the Brooklyn Nets left something to be desired.

The 1-seed Hawks — with 60 wins and the status as the overwhelming favorite — got off to a strong start, outscoring the Nets 32-20 in the first quarter. The Hawks took advantage of six Brooklyn turnovers and were using them to create open looks on offense. This continued into the beginning of the second quarter, as the Hawks increased their lead up to 16 points and appeared to be well on their way to blowing out their opponent.

However, the Nets stopped turning the ball over and ramped up their defensive effort to start putting pressure on the Hawks. “We had turnovers early, but we finally cut down on our turnovers and figured out how to execute and score,” said Nets head coach Lionel Hollins. “We got ourselves back close in the game.” Continue Reading…

After a couple of days off, the Hawks wiped the court with the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night, winning 96-69 and clinching the best record in franchise history by notching their 58th win of the season.

“I’m very proud of our players and very proud of our organization,” said head coach Mike Budenholzer in his post game presser. “I’m very happy for our city. To have the most wins in franchise history, it’s important to take a moment and recognize the work of our players and the organization.”

The game started off with Al Horford missing an easy bunny at the rim, but the tides changed quickly as the Hawks responded with a 8-0 run to put a decent cushion between them and the Suns. The contest stayed relatively close for the remainder of the first half, which caused some chipiness between the two teams. Pero Antic, Mike Scott, DeMarre Carroll, Budenholzer, and Phoenix’s Markieff Morris all received technical fouls, mostly over displeasure over how the game was being officiated. Continue Reading…

The Hawks won big in the box score by beating the Nets 131-99, but they could have lost big time with an injury to Paul Millsap.

Millsap was injured in the second quarter on a collision with Brooklyn’s Earl Clark. Clark rammed into Millsap’s shoulder on a scramble for a loose ball, resulting in Millsap coming out of the game for good. Millsap will be re-evaluated on Sunday and Monday, but this is definitely poor timing for the Hawks’ leading scorer to sustain an injury.

Back to the game, the Hawks absolutely dominated the Nets in every fashion, maintaining a lead of 39 points at one point in the third quarter. “We played great tonight as a team, moving the ball,” said Jeff Teague, who had 20 points and eight assists in 24 minutes. “We trust one another on the floor. We know guys can make shots and tonight we made a lot of them.”

Indeed they did make a lot of shots, as the Hawks were 49-for-82 (59.8%) from the field and 17-for-33 (51.5%) from 3. The accurate shooting resulted in 40 assists for the Hawks, two shy of the team’s season-high set against the Sacramento Kings a few weeks ago. Continue Reading…

The Hawks allowed the Magic to score 31 points in the opening quarter, showing signs that Atlanta’s prolonged defensive slump may still be alive and result in the team’s first four-game losing streak of the year.

Thankfully for the Atlanta fans, the Hawks’ defense finally showed up in the second half, as Orlando was held to just 31 points over the final 24 minutes of the game as Atlanta cruised to a 95-83 victory.

Paul Millsap finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and four blocks in leading the Hawks to the win. Millsap’s play was extremely vital in the first half when the Hawks were struggling; the power forward had 18 points and eight rebounds in that half alone, which helped keep the Hawks within five points when the buzzer sounded to end the second quarter.

In the third quarter, the Hawks’ defense really started getting the Magic’s offense out of rhythm by forcing bad shots. Orlando became so frustrated that they started taking almost any shot they could get, which resulted in 3-point attempts early in the shot clock by shooters who probably are not suited to take those attempts. However, thanks to some good defense of their own, the Magic maintained a three-point lead heading into the final period.

After Dennis Schroder hit a 3 to open the period and tie the game, Orlando went on a 7-0 run and things were looking bleak for the Hawks. However, the offense that the Hawks have been winning games off of all season finally showed up in the fourth quarter, as Atlanta got the ball moving, created open shots, and connected on those opportunities to open up a 24-3 run that finally buried the Magic. Continue Reading…

A Festus Ezeli dunk with 3:23 remaining in the third quarter was part of a 13-3 run to close the quarter, leaving Golden State up 83-64 en route to a 114-95 victory over the Hawks in Oakland, Ca. Prior to Ezeli’s dunk, Draymond Green dropped off a pass before bowling over a stationary Pero Antic. The absense of a whistle would be a theme throughout the night.

Throughout the first half, the Hawks were plagued by defensive miscues. Golden State’s first basket came on a Justin Holiday layup. Kent Bazemore worked a give-and-go with Al Horford for a layup and nobody picked up Bazemore’s man, Holiday, in transition. With the Warriors up 5-4 with 8:45 remaining in the first, the Hawks were confused about assignments on an inbounds play. DeMarre Carroll left Harrison Barnes to pick up Steph Curry, who was completely unguarded at the 3-point line. Curry got it to Barnes for a corner three and an 8-4 Warriors lead.

With 6:15 remaining in the first, Jeff Teague made zero effort to get around a Bogut pick, and Curry hit the resulting wide-open three to put the Warriors in front 17-13. Then, with 2:53 left in the first, Barnes got a dunk off an inbounds play as Paul Millsap was caught unaware by a back screen. That put Golden State up 22-18. On the very next Warriors possession, Carroll picked up Andre Iguodala in transition. Millsap stood around guarding nobody as Barnes cut down the lane for another dunk and a 24-18 GSW lead with 2:30 remaining in the first. Moments later, Antic cheated toward the three point line as Curry came off a Marreese Speights pindown screen and Iguodala instead passed it to Speights for an uncontested dunk and a 26-22 Golden State lead with 1:15 to play in the first. Continue Reading…

Even with Kyle Korver out to injury and Al Horford out for rest purposes, the Atlanta Hawks hung on to Monday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings to get the 110-103 victory.

The first quarter of this game helped signify that it would be a close affair all night. The Kings were shooting well and playing with pace on offense. DeMarcus Cousins was a load early on both offensively and defensively; at one point, he blocked shots on consecutive Atlanta possessions and simply made the Hawks look silly in their offensive attempts. Thankfully for the Hawks, DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap were able to make shots and take advantage of some mismatches, leading to the two scoring eight points a piece in the quarter.

The Hawks started to pull away in the second quarter, largely thanks to the play of one Jeffrey DeMarco Teague. Teague’s agressive play, combined with the defensive intensity of Kent Bazemore, allowed the Hawks get an advantage, resulting in a 53-47 lead at halftime.

The third quarter was a repeat of the first… almost literally. The Kings won the first quarter 29-28 and they won the third quarter by the same score. Jason Thompson and Andre Miller started making their impacts in this period, as their play sparked a 16-7 mini-run by Sacramento that allowed the Kings to stay in the game. This run was despite DeMarcus Cousins nearly having a meltdown, as the former Kentucky product recorded four turnovers, four fouls, and one technical foul in the period. Continue Reading…

Hawks Destroyed in Denver

Bo Churney —  March 11, 2015 — 1 Comment

Well that was not exactly the way the team wanted to start off the road trip.

The Atlanta Hawks went into Denver on Wednesday night and were absolutely demolished by the Nuggets, losing by a score of 115-102. The Hawks were saved from an embarrassing score by the team’s garbage unit, who went on a 24-1 run in the fourth quarter to make the game a little interesting by cutting Denver’s huge lead to just single-digits with about a minute to go.

However, that one run was not indicative of what really happened in this contest. The game was similar to the Hawks win against Sacramento on Monday night, only in reverse and seemingly worse. The Hawks had problems making shots and executing on offense throughout most of the game while Denver was not missing from the field, regardless of the difficulty of the shot attempt.

The first quarter appeared to be a fluke, but it proved to be a sign of things to come. The Hawks committed silly turnovers like stepping out of bounds twice and missing a few open 3s. Atlanta was getting some decent looks inside the perimeter, however, shooting 9-for-14 on 2s during the quarter. This combined with Denver’s 60% shooting from the field seemed to show that the Hawks could rebound later in the game. Continue Reading…