Archives For Jeff Teague

The Hawks dropped their first game of the 2014-15 season with a 109-102 loss to the Raptors, and it could have been much uglier that that. Atlanta started out sloppy and played poorly on the defensive end, but a late run sparked the team. Costly mistakes threw away their final chance to come out on top.

Despite the loss, there were a few things we can take away from the game:

  • DEPTH
    The Hawks lacked depth last season — mostly due to injuries — but were coming into this season with a lot of versatile players on a deep bench. By the beginning of the second quarter, Mike Budenholzer had played 11 guys, showing how deep this team really is. Elton Brand was the first sub off the bench, followed by Kent Bazemore shortly after. On more than one occasion, Bud rolled out a Mack-Bazmore-Sefolosha-Scott-Brand lineup, and it proved to be a nice spark. Scott was the best bench player in the game, channeling his fire emojis for 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting. In the end, 10 guys played at least 11 minutes, and no starter played over 33 minutes.
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When Reggie Miller and Rick Fox predicted on NBA TV that the Hawks would miss the playoffs this season, I chuckled. But when ESPN.com projected the Hawks as the 7th-best team in the East and Tom Haberstroh wrote that the Hawks’ depth is “shallow as a puddle,” it was time to break my silence on the 2014-15 Atlanta Hawks. Please take a few moments and let’s talk about the deepest team in Atlanta Hawks history.

Here’s the full quote from Haberstroh from ESPN’s preseason power rankings:

Although the Hawks mostly struck out in free agency with tons of cap space at hand, they reeled in former Thunder 3-and-D specialist Thabo Sefolosha to add much-needed depth. However, the team’s bench is still as shallow as a puddle after they shed Lou Williams’ contract.

The Hawks’ trade of Williams and former first-round pick Lucas Nogueira for the partially-guaranteed contract of John Salmons will remain a topic of debate for years to come. The team traded a useful bench player (Williams) and a former pick with some promise for a $7 million contract with only $1 million guaranteed. If you’re still dumbfounded by this move, consider this: There’s a very strong possibility that the trade was part of Danny Ferry’s preparation for a sign-and-trade offer to the Pistons that would include a max contract offer for Greg Monroe.

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After 10 months on the sidelines due to a pectoral injury, Al Horford finally returned to action on Tuesday night for a preseason matchup with the Miami Heat.

But it was an inauspicious return for Al Horford, as Chris Bosh won the tip, scored a layup, made a jumper and recorded three rebounds in the first three minutes as the Heat opened on a 14-0 run. Bosh’s two baskets on Horford during that run looked effortless and Horford’s baseline turn-around was well short and unconvincing.

You can’t lay it all on Horford’s plate, however, as the entire starting unit played the first quarter in a listless and disinterested manner. Jeff Teague’s layup and free throw, a pair of threes from DeMarre Carroll and Kyle Korver and a short jumper and layup by Paul Millsap was all the offense the starters were able to muster in the 1st as the Heat built a 31-16 lead heading into the second quarter.

Horford showed signs of life in the second quarter, assisting Mike Scott on a dunk and hitting a 13-footer. However, James Ennis, a player whose rights Danny Ferry traded to the Hawks’ division rivals, made a dunk and hit a corner three to counteract Horford’s positive efforts. Continue Reading…

Not at his position. (which is center) Not in the division. Not in the East.

In the entire NBA.

CBS Sports once again did their Elite 100 players in the NBA and the three man crew placed Horford in the 13 spot among NBA players.

Here’s what the Eye on Basketball had to say about Horford:

The reality is that Horford in many ways is what Noah is billed as. He’s an all-around center. He’s able to score on his own out of the post, from mid-range, and even dabbled with the three-ball before the injury took him out last season. He’s a smart and commited defender, versatile and long. Horford’s passing is brutally underrated and he can create separation with his screens. Oh, and in any season where he’s played more than 30 games, he’s never averaged less than nine rebounds per 36 minutes.

That’s a lot of hype for the Hawks’ center, who missed the majority of last season with a torn pectoral muscle. Horford is usually criminally underrated in such rankings, so seeing him this high is somewhat surprising.

Joining Horford in their top 100 were Paul Millsap at 35, Kyle Korver at 52, and Jeff Teague at 63. Assuming those four players live up to these rankings, the Hawks should find themselves in contention come playoff time.

The Las Vegas version of the NBA’s Summer League will start tomorrow. For the second consecutive year, there is a lot to watch for with the young Atlanta Hawks roster.

While rookies Dennis Schröder and Lucas Nogueira stole the show last season, one of the biggest developments was Mike Scott’s expanded shooting.

Scott shot 46% over five games, displaying a refined shooting touch from mid-range, as well as an extension of his game to the 3-point line. Scott only shot 2-for-8 from 3 while in Vegas, but it was more about seeing where Scott wanted to go with improving his game. The improvement translated to the regular season, where Scott attempted 200 3-pointers during the season. Scott only shot 31% on those shots, but the expansion in his game added greater space on offense for himself and the entire team.

Will we see that kind of improvement from a player on this year’s Summer League roster?

Of the players in Vegas for the Hawks, three of them — Mike Muscala, John Jenkins, and Schröder — saw time during the regular season with the team. 2014 draft picks Adreian Payne, Edy Taveres, and Lamar Patterson will also see their first NBA related playing time. Eric Dawson, who played for last year’s Summer League team and was a training camp invite, is on the roster as well. Continue Reading…

Iman Shumpert Available?

Bo Churney —  June 23, 2014 — 4 Comments

Late last night, ESPN’s Marc Stein had this to say about New York Knicks shooting guard Iman Shumpert:



With the Hawks desperately needing a third player that can play defense on the perimeter, this news definitely piqued my interest. Shumpert can effectively play defense on both guard positions, plus he can occasionally guard the 3-position on teams that are small. Shumpert’s offense has been extremely inconsistent over his three NBA seasons, but there is one factor that was in New York that makes me think this can easily be fixed on a team like Atlanta: former Knicks head coach, Mike Woodson. Continue Reading…

2014 Review: Jeff Teague

Bo Churney —  May 30, 2014 — 1 Comment

I have a love/hate relationship with Jeff Teague.

After Dennis Schröder’s performance at Las Vegas Summer League, there were several questions about how long Jeff Teague would be in an Atlanta uniform. Teague’s contract that he just signed — $8 million per year for four years — appeared to be a bit of a bargain, making Jeff a soon-to-be “trade asset” in the minds of many. I was one of those people, thinking that Jeff probably had two more years in Atlanta before the reins would be handed over to Schröder.

Now I’m not so sure about that and my thought process leans more towards Teague being the point guard for the future of this Atlanta franchise.

Early in the season, I was singing high praises of Jeff. Teague looked invigorated and was playing like an All-Star point guard. He was undergoing a bit of a shooting slump at the time, but his play looked well improved from the previous season. Continue Reading…

Two stats that tell the tale of the Hawks’ surprising but short-lived postseason run are defensive and offensive efficiency. In holding the Pacers to 101.6 points per 100 possessions, the Hawks rank 3rd among 16 playoff teams in defensive efficiency. After ranking 14th out of 30 teams during the regular season, this is an unbelievable accomplishment for a team that wasn’t supposed to be competitive against the East’s top seed.

It was on the other end of the floor, however, that the Hawks fell short. After ranking 15th in offensive efficiency during the regular season, the Hawks rank dead last in playoff offensive efficiency, managing only 98.2 points per 100 possessions. Through the first five games of the series, the Pacers were worse defensively than the Hawks. Atlanta’s offensive woes were party a function of being unable to knock down open shots, and party a function of the fact that, since Game 6, the Pacers have resumed their role as the best defensive team in the league.

The biggest killer for the Hawks was the fact that Pero Antic shot 17% from the field for the series and 12% from 3-point range. If Antic, whom I noted had the best plus-minus of any Hawk against the Pacers during the regular season, shot even 25% from three in this series, I believe the Hawks would still be playing. Antic helped the Hawks win Game 1 by scoring eight points, including 2-for-5 shooting from 3-point range. The Pacers would mostly leave Antic wide open as he shot 1-for-20 from distance over the final six games. The Pacers’ ability to play off Antic allowed the team to keep a big man in the lane, thus reducing the effectiveness of Jeff Teague off the dribble. Continue Reading…

FINAL
Pacers win series, 4-3

IND(4-3) 95 – 80 (3-4) ATL

Key Performers:
P. George (IND): 30 pts, 11 reb, 3 ast, 2 stl
P. Millsap (ATL): 15 pts, 17 reb, 4 ast, 4 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

So that’s that.

The Hawks were eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday after a lid seemed to form over their basket in Indiana. The Pacer defense was good, but the Hawks continued to get open look after open look. Unfortunately for the Hawks and their fans, those shots just would not fall.

The Hawks and Pacers were essentially even through the first quarter, but the second quarter is what set this game apart. Paul George got hot, scoring 10 points in the quarter, and the Hawks became icy cold, shooting 4-for-20 from the field in the period, including a 1-for-15 stretch to close out the half. The second half was like the first quarter: essentially a tie. However, the disastrous second quarter cost the Hawks the game and effectively ended their season.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Jeff Teague: This wasn’t exactly a banner game from Jeff: 5-for-16 shooting, five turnovers, and five fouls. Like all of the Hawks, he just couldn’t get his shot to fall, and that affected Jeff more than any other Hawk, as the defense is able to close down and focus more on Teague when the shots aren’t falling. 5/10

Paul Millsap: Millsap was 6-for-21 from the field, but he did maintain his other strengths by continuously getting rebounds and jumping passing lanes. Just one note I want to take away from this game: after the way this series went, I find it odd that Millsap couldn’t get a foul call to save his life here. Not a conspiracy theory or anything, just officiating needs to be more consistent across games. 7/10

Kyle Korver: Korver was one of the only Hawks that was actually able to find the bottom of the net during the game. He finished with 19 points on 6-for-13 shooting, the best shooting by percentage of any Hawk during the game. 6.5/10

DeMarre Carroll: It wasn’t DeMarre’s game, either. Paul George was hitting some extremely tough looks over DeMarre, a matchup disadvantage that was further compounded by DeMarre going 1-for-7 from the field. 5/10

Pero Antic: Pero was 0-for-5 from the floor… yet he posted the highest plus-minus of any Hawks with a plus-2 rating. Plus-minus isn’t everything, but it does seem to be an accurate reflection of Pero’s defensive abilities when compared to Mike Scott. 5/10 Continue Reading…