Archives For Jeff Teague

FINAL
Series is tied, 1-1

IND(1-1) 101 – 85 (1-0) ATL   

Key Performers:
P. George (ATL): 19 pts, 4 reb
P. Millsap (IND): 27 pts, 10 reb, 6 ast, 4 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

That was about the worst-case scenario for the Atlanta Hawks, injury-free category. Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap were balling again in the first half, again putting the Pacers on their heels by holding the lead after both of the first two quarters. However, that all changed in the third quarter as Paul George and Indiana finally gave a glimpse of the team that we saw in the first half of the season. George’s buzzer-beating 30-foot 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter was a symbolic nail in the coffin for the Hawks, giving the Pacers a 14-point cushion heading into the fourth quarter.

Why was this the worst case scenario? It isn’t just the Pacers winning this game; it’s the way they did it. The Hawks had the lead for half of the game. To allow the Pacers to storm back and rout them could prove to be critical as the series shifts to the ATL.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Jeff Teague: Take note, Jeff Teague: the best defensive team in the league figured that its best strategy for limiting the Hawks was to stick one of the best perimeter defenders in the game in your path. Take that as a huge compliment. How did Teague respond? In the first half — and the first quarter in particular — Teague did exactly as he did in Game 1. He let his teammates open up lanes with their spacing, then he broke down the defense by getting into the lane. In the second half, Teague had less success, going 1-for-5 from the field as Indiana’s defensive unit clamped down and the Hawks started to miss their open shots. Overall, I still think Teague played well. 8/10

Paul Millsap: Like Teague, Millsap continued his great work from Game 1 into the first half of this game. He hit two 3-pointers, he had a couple of great takes to the basket, and he was getting to the line, all three of which are things that he is going to need to do for the Hawks to win this season. Unfortunately, also like Teague, Millsap could not get the mojo going in the second half, resulting in the Hawks losing the third quarter 31-13. 7.5/10

Kyle Korver: Korver went 1-for-5 in this game, which is something that the Hawks absolutely cannot afford for him to do. The Pacers did a good job as a whole of keeping Korver from getting open, so when Korver actually is able to get free, he’s got to connect. Hopefully the 1-for-5 night (and 3-for-12 start from 3 so far this postseason) proves to be an aberration. 5/10

DeMarre Carroll: With Paul George guarding Teague for most of the game, I thought DeMarre might be able to take advantage of having a combination of Lance Stephenson and George Hill on him. He and the team really couldn’t take advantage of this, however, and at least two of his five shot attempts on the night were extremely forced. I would be interested to see if the Hawks are able to adjust and try to open up for cutting space for DeMarre in Game 3. 9/10

Pero Antic: With how many open looks Pero is likely to get in this series, they are going to need him to do better than 2-for-9 from the floor and 1-for-5 from 3. He did good defensively, but this series quite literally depends on Pero’s ability to stretch the floor. 5/10 Continue Reading…

With the signature win of the Mike Budenholzer era under the team’s belt, the Hawks turn to Game 2. Once again, the Hawks will be under zero pressure. Pundits claimed this would be the least-competitive playoff series in NBA history. Even if the Pacers tie the series, it then shifts to Atlanta where Indiana lacks a track record of success. Below is a look at some trends to keep an eye on as the Pacers desperately try to save their season.

The Hawks were 27th in the league in total rebound percentage but trailed the Pacers only 46-42 in total rebounds in Game 1. Another issue for the Pacers is the rate at which Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap got to the free throw line in Game 1. Teague was 9-for-10 and Millsap 9-for-11. I don’t anticipate the Pacers getting any significant help from the referees in this series because Indiana represents the only significant roadblock in the East to a glamorous LeBron-Durant match-up in the Finals.

If the Kyle Korver-Lance Stephenson matchup is a key to the series as I suggested, you’d have to say the Pacers did a good job by limiting Korver to 2-for-7 shooting (29%) from three. But wait. I also said that a big problem for the Pacers was the sheer volume of 3-point shooters for the Hawks. In Game 1, Millsap, DeMarre Carroll, Pero Antic and Shelvin Mack each attempted at least four 3-pointers and shot 40% or better. Continue Reading…

FINAL
Hawks lead series, 1-0

IND(0-1) 93 – 101 (1-0)ATL

Key Performers:
J. Teague (ATL): 28 pts, 5 ast, 3 reb
P. George (IND): 24 pts, 10 reb, 5 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Atlanta Hawks shocked the world Saturday night, defeating the Indiana Pacers to take a 1-0 lead in the Eastern Conference 1st round series and seize home court advantage. However, they did not shock certain bloggers who have watched the Pacers struggle for months. Indiana shows no signs of fixing its chemistry and continuity issues. The Hawks took advantage by executing the game plan everybody knew they would follow, spreading the floor with 3-point shooters and unleashing Jeff Teague on the Pacers’ weakened interior.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Jeff Teague: Jeff Teague has accepted his role, which is that of floor leader and offensive focal point. He doesn’t have to be a vocal leader or rah-rah guy in the locker room. The Hawks need him to lead with his actions on the court. Tonight, we saw Teague embrace that role and the results were simply stunning. Typical of Teague’s confidence throughout the game was this play, where he broke Evan Turner’s ankles with a crossover and calmly hit a step-back three. Teague also showed killer instinct, never letting off the gas until the job was finished. In scoring a career playoff-high 28 points with five assists, Teague was everything we knew he could be. 10/10

Paul Millsap: In my playoff preview, I talked about the Bad Boys 30-for-30 and discussed how Mark Aguirre sacrificed his offense while Dennis Rodman was thrust into a larger role than he was prepared for. Millsap, like Teague, has been asked to take on more responsibilities in the absence of Al Horford. Like Teague, Millsap has risen to the occasion. After being held to single digits by the Pacers on three occasions this season, Millsap went off for 25 points and 8 rebounds. Millsap is the sort of teammate that you have no doubt would sacrifice as Aguirre did if his team needed it. The Hawks needed the opposite, and Millsap brought it. 10/10

Kyle Korver: Also in the 5-on-5 preview, I discussed how important the Korver-Lance Stephenson match-up was. Stephenson scored 19 with seven rebounds while Korver scored only 12 with five rebounds. But Korver was plus-12 for the game while Stephenson was minus-8. Even though Korver shot only 5-for-12, including 2-for-7 on threes, his ever-present threat helped stretch the defense and open up the middle for Teague. On defense, Korver pulled his weight. 7/10

DeMarre Carroll: It’s hard to comprehend how undervalued Carroll was by the Utah Jazz before coming to the Hawks. Carroll was a game-best plus-15, scoring 12 points on four shots and adding 10 rebounds. His defensive assignment Paul George led the Pacers in every category, scoring 24 points with 10 rebounds, five assists, four steals and two blocks. But Carroll made his presence felt, even flashing an escape dribble to create space for a jumper over George’s tight defense. 9/10

Pero Antic: The biggest concern for the Hawks heading into the game was, what if Pero has an off night shooting the ball? The Hawks were relying on Antic to draw Roy Hibbert away from the basket and he delivered, scoring eight points with seven rebounds on 3-for-7 shooting, including 2-for-5 from 3-point range. In the 3rd period, David West took exception to a foul and got in Antic’s face. Just like during the regular season when Carmelo Anthony jawed at Carroll, the Hawks used it as inspiration. Atlanta closed the 3rd on a 20-8 run and Indiana was never able to recover. 7/10 Continue Reading…

Each season that I’ve covered the Hawks for TrueHoop Network, I’ve written a playoff preview and a season postmortem. In re-reading last year’s preview, I came to a realization. We’re watching the birth of a new era in Atlanta Hawks basketball.

This preview is going to be about the narrative story of where the Hawks are as a team and franchise. If you’re looking for an analytic breakdown, Hawks.com‘s Robby Kalland has you covered with his excellent piece. You can also check out the 5-on-5 series preview on ESPN.com that HawksHoop editor Bo Churney and myself were asked to take part in.

Getting back to last season’s playoff preview, it was a regurgitation of the same concerns I had the previous season. I was concerned about coach Larry Drew’s ability to put optimal lineups on the floor and emphasize players that were best-equipped to help the team win. I was concerned about Jeff Teague being passive and deferential. And I was concerned about Josh Smith playing the right way to help his team win and advance. Continue Reading…

FINAL

MIL(15-67) 103 – 111 (38-44)ATL

Key Performers:
M. Scott (ATL): 17 pts, 4 reb, 4 ast
B. Knight (MIL): 31 pts, 7 reb, 4 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Atlanta ended their season on Wednesday night by getting a win over the lowly Milwaukee Bucks, finishing the season with a 38-44 record. With Paul Millsap sitting out again to rest his sore right hand for the playoffs, Mike Scott was inserted into the starting lineup and he was one of the leaders of the ATL effort. Scott led the team with 17 points (eight in the first quarter) and was also tied for the team lead in assist with four. In fact, everyone was getting in on the assist game, as six different Hawks had at least three assists; this includes rookie Mike Muscala, who had his best game as a pro with 15 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. Atlanta’s next game will be on Saturday at 7PM (on ESPN!) as they start their first round series with the Indiana Pacers.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Mike Scott: I already went over a lot of Mike’s success in the opening statement, but here’s some other stuff he did: he led the team with 32 minutes played, scored 15 points in the first half, plus he had a pretty neat rip on a Jeff Adrien attempt in the paint. Mike doesn’t always do a lot on defense, so you have to appreciate when he doesn’t something on that end that leads to a bucket. 8/10

Jeff Teague: Only 20 minutes from Jeff, but something that I liked is that he was 2-for-5 on 3-pointers in that time. I like Jeff taking open 3s. He should get some open opportunities in the upcoming series against the Pacers and it is really refreshing to see him not only attempting, but making those shtos. 8/10

Pero Antic: Pero didn’t have a lot of touch on his shot on the night (2-for-8 from the field), but he did the other things that have made him a positive player this season: defending well, plus his general presence opening the lane for his teammates on offense. 7/10

DeMarre Carroll: I was actually a bit concerned when I found out that DeMarre was playing in this game, mainly because he’s been deal with some slight ailments lately and I didn’t want his extreme-effort style of play causing another injury in a game like this that doesn’t affect the standings. Nonetheless, DeMarre looked fine, putting up 13 points, four assists, and three steals in just 22 minutes of play. And hey, he made all of his layups! 8/10

Kyle Korver: I never thought Korver could play 22 minutes in a game without attempting a three, but that is exactly what happened in this game. He still had seven points and four assists, but just so odd that he didn’t even get a shot off from 3-point land. Makes you appreciate his 3-point streak even more. 7/10 Continue Reading…

With his blistering on-ball speed and a change of pace that leaves defenders in the dust, it’s no mystery as to why many Hawks fans agree that an aggressive Jeff Teague is the best Jeff Teague. Shooting 38% from mid-range and 32% from downtown, logic would presume the optimal method of attack for Teague is getting to the basket instead of settling for jumpers.

However, on some nights we’ll see a timid Teague, one refusing to take advantage of his talents and instead doesn’t actively look to get into the paint. Being the only Hawks starter with a dribble-drive game, this Teague stagnates and diminishes spacing on an offense that is predicated on ball movement and is third in (pace-adjusted) three-point attempts per game.

At least, that’s what the “eye test” suggests. Statistics on the other hand convey that not only is Teague consistently assertive, but he’s actually one of the more hungry attackers in the league.

Per SportVU, Teague ranks fourth in the NBA in drives per-36 minutes, with “drives” being defined as when a player dribbles the ball from 20-feet out to within 10 feet of the basket. According to this, Teague not only consistently looks to find gaps in the defense but does so more than a vast majority of the NBA. The kicker? Atlanta’s netting 10.7 points per game on Teague drives, which ranks 7th in the league.

So what is creating this image of Teague only being aggressive on certain nights?

Continue Reading…

FINAL

CHA(42-39) 95 – 93 (37-44)ATL

Key Performers:
M. Scott (ATL): 20 pts, 6 reb
A. Jefferson (CHA): 27 pts, 15 reb
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks really didn’t have anything to play for tonight other than pride and tooling up for the playoffs. Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver, and DeMarre Carroll all did not play. Despite this, the Hawks probably should have won. The Bobcats played horrible basketball most of the night but the Hawks were only able to capitalize on it once. The Hawks had tons of wide open shots from deep but couldn’t hit a large chunk of them. I guess you can’t expect the bench unit to finish off the opposing team, but you don’t usually expect them to blow a 15 point lead against the opposing teams’ bench plus one starter, and that’s what happened tonight. A very weird game.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Lou Williams: Ever since reentering the rotation, Williams has not disappointed. Looking at his box score I’m surprised he had as poor a game as he did because he did a lot of small things really well such as pushing the pace and running the fast break. Still, 0-for-7 from deep is really tough to overcome. 4/10

Jeff Teague: Teague continues his strong finish to the season. Tonight he did a little bit of everything with some points here, some assists over there, and some rebounds here. He finished with a stat line of 11-5-4, but that’s not what was so great about his play tonight. Teague shut down Kemba Walker. Walker was hounded all night long and had a dreadful game. Even when he did get an open shot he looked uncomfortable because of everything Teague was doing. 8/10

Pero Antic: Antic returned from injury and got the start. Unfortunately for him that did not lead to much success. He struggled all night long and was far less effective than Muscala and Brand. 2/10

Mike Muscala: Muscala had one of his best games as a rookie tonight. 21 minutes and given the task of helping out on Al Jefferson, the rookie stepped up. His defense wasn’t spectacular but it wasn’t horrible. On the offensive end Muscala was 3-for-5 with 8 points and a lot of nice hustle moments. 6/10

Cartier Martin: Martin also deserves big props for his efforts on the defensive end tonight. While Teague was busy hounding Walker, Martin found himself with the task of of guarding Gerald Henderson. Martin held Henderson to a dreadful shooting night and between him and Teague, they shut down the Bobcats starting back court. 7.5/10 Continue Reading…

FINAL

MIA(54-26) 85 – 98 (37-43)ATL

Key Performers:
J. Teague (ATL): 25 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast, 4 stl
L. James (MIA): 27 pts, 8 reb, 5 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks won their third straight game, with this victory over the Heat clinching the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The win is thanks to Jeff Teague, who was extremely aggressive in attacking the basket nearly the whole night. He wasn’t really attacking in the fourth quarter, but that’s because Lou “Chicken Man” Williams was cooking up something extra crispy. Williams had 23 points on the night, 18 of which were scored in the game’s final period. Lou actually completely closed the game for the Hawks, scoring the team’s final 12 points after the 2:54 mark to thwart any chance of a Miami comeback.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Paul Millsap: Millsap was rather quiet on the night, only putting up 11 points, eight rebounds, and five assists, which broke his streak of seven consecutive double-doubles. One thing of concern: Millsap appeared to twist his ankle in the fourth quarter, but he remained in the game. It will be interesting to see if the Hawks decide to rest him over the final two games. 7/10

Jeff Teague: Teague was attacking the basket with AUTHORITY on several occasions, putting up a couple of highlight and-one finishes that got the Hawks contingent of the crowd to make some noise. “He always sets the tone when get gets out there and is aggressive and he pushes the tempo,” said Paul Millsap of his starting point guard. “He attack and he attacks. It’s good for us. It’s what we need from him.” So… how about some of that same aggressive stuff in the playoffs, Jeffrey? 9.5/10

Elton Brand: With Pero Antic sitting out, Elton Brand had to start for a second consecutive game. He played 27 minutes and made his defensive presence known when he had a highlight reel block on a LeBron James layup attempt in the first quarter. 7/10

DeMarre Carroll: LeBron turned it up a bit at the end of the game, but for most of the game, DeMarre played great defense on the league’s best player. DeMarre made LeBron work for each and every bucket when he was on the floor. On offense, DeMarre had five turnovers, but he also hit three 3-pointers and was an overall plus on that end, too. 9/10

Kyle Korver: Really quiet night from Korver; only four points and three rebounds. Wade was scoring early, but that was more a factor of Wade hitting jumpers than of poor defensive play by Korver. 3/10 Continue Reading…

The Hawks and RPM

Bo Churney —  April 9, 2014 — 2 Comments

Last week, ESPN released a new stat called Real Plus-Minus (or RPM) as a new perspective into gauging the impact a player has on the court. For ESPN’s intoduction of the stat, click here.

In a nutshell, adjusted plus-minus stats work by taking your regular plus-minus figures and attempting to set a value to each player’s situation based on their teammates, their opponents, and even coaching. It then tries to put those numbers together and assign a “real plus-minus” as a figure of a player’s overall value. RPM is measured in net-point differential per 100 possessions. (100 possessions is about the length of your average game)

As with all stats, I don’t think you can just take one and use it to end an argument. With that said, RPM should provide an interesting new tool to look at when trying to confirm the impact of a certain player(s). Continue Reading…

There was no local TV for this game. It was a make up for the January 29th game that was postponed due to one of the snowstorms that hit the Atlanta area this year. With baseball season now underway, neither team had its normal crew on site.

Let’s just say that nothing of value was lost.

Both teams played extremely sloppy games, with the two teams combining for 31 total turnovers. Neither team shot above 43% from the field and 56 total free throws were attempted. It was just everything you don’t want to see about a basketball game.

The Hawks’ losing effort was led by Paul Millsap, who was nursing a sore right thumb. Even with the injury forcing him to be more proactive with his off-hand, Millsap still managed to scored 24 points on 10-for-19 shooting from the field. Millsap also had 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and a block to round out his stat line. Continue Reading…