Archives For Jeff Teague

The Atlanta Hawks were out-hustled, out-executed and out-coached over the final seven minutes as a Tobias Harris buzzer-beater sealed a 100-99 win for the host Orlando Magic. The loss brought the Hawks’ nine-game win streak to a humbling conclusion. Jeff Teague had a careless turnover, failed to convert multiple isolations resulting from broken plays and was a disaster on defense in the closing minutes.

Teague and Paul Millsap replaced Dennis Schröder and Mike Scott with the Hawks up 83-80 with seven minutes remaining. Kyle Korver followed up a pair of Harris free throws with an elbow jumper. Kent Bazemore, who had a season-high 10 points, missed a heat-check 3-pointer after an offensive rebound. Teague then drove the lane and threw the ball into the stands. He looked better on the next trip with a lob pass to Al Horford, whose layup put the Hawks ahead 87-82.

Harris responded with a tough pull-up in the lane over DeMarre Carroll. Teague missed a step-back three on a broken possession. Korver replaced Bazemore with four minutes to play. Teague got a blow-by layup and the Hawks led 89-84 with 3:47 on the clock. Nikola Vučević then hit a baseline turn-around before Harris fouled Korver on a 3-point attempt. Korver’s free throws put the Hawks up 92-86 with 2:57 remaining. Continue Reading…

Jeff Teague has always been one of the more underrated players in the league. In a league full of athletic and talented point guards, Teague quietly puts up solid numbers on a perennial playoff team and the majority of causal NBA fans have no idea.

Much like Atlanta sports teams, Teague shows flashes of greatness, but at times has struggled with consistency. Last season, he started off strong and it had many wondering if this was his all-star year. Through the month of December last season, Teague was averaging over 19 points and eight assists per game, prompting Hawks’ fans and writers to believe in the point guard.

A bomb went off in December though, as Al Horford went down with a torn pectoral, and Teague had a tough test ahead of him. Through the month of January, he averaged just 13.6 points and 4.6 assists on 37 percent shooting from the field. He also posted an ugly 16 percent clip from three-point range.

So where did the All-Star Jeff Teague go?

Though he rebounded from a terrible month of January, Teague never got back to the level he showed in the early months of the season. That is, until the playoffs rolled around. Continue Reading…

Hosting the lowly 76ers after winning seven games in a row sure seemed like a classic trap game for the Hawks. However, the Hawks saw no such let up, controlling a mostly slow-tempo game on Wednesday night between them and Philadelphia, notching their eighth consecutive victory with a final score of 95-79.

Mike Scott missed this game due to flu-like symptoms, paving the way for Mike Muscala to make an impact off of the bench. In 19 minutes, Muscala recorded 12 points, seven rebounds, and three assists after spending some time in the D-League due to the Hawks’ superb depth at the power forward and center positions.

“His length is something that always stands out every time Mike gets to play,” said Coach Budenholzer. “He affects the game at the defensive end, at the rim. He alters shots, blocks shots… on the boards, offensively and defensively, he has a presence.”

Muscala has now scratched playing time in seven games this year and he is starting to become an interesting factor off of the bench. He is not as good of a shooter as Scott, but Muscala still has a decent jumper and he impacts the game on rebounding and defense in a way that Scott does not. It’s a small sample size, but it might be worth investigating and rewarding Muscala with some more consistent playing time. The late first quarter/early second quarter line up of the bench players plus Horford? Put Muscala in there with Horford and see what happens.

Elsewhere on the roster, both Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver led the team with 17 points in Wednesday night’s game. Korver did his on 6-for-11 shooting and added two rebounds, two assists, three steals, and a block to his line. Millsap was only slightly less efficient, scoring his points on 7-for-13 shooting to go with eight rebounds and three assists. Continue Reading…

As the Atlanta Hawks continue their romp through the NBA’s easiest early-season schedule, the team has now assembled its first 7-game win streak since 2009. The Hawks won the first quarter 28-18 and never looked back, finishing off the Pacers 108-92 behind 25 points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal and three blocks from Al Horford, along with 21 points, seven assists, three rebounds and three steals from Jeff Teague.

In the first half, it looked like the Hawks were going to blow open another one. The Hawks led 47-29 on a layup and free throw by Kyle Korver with 5:15 to play in the half. The Pacers responded with 3-pointers from Damjan Rudez and Rodney Stuckey and baskets from Luis Scola and Solomon Hill to close the gap to 49-39 before Mike Budenholzer called a timeout with 3:15 remaining in the first half.

Out of the timeout, Teague scored eight of his 10 points in the half, including a pair of layups in the last 30 seconds as the Hawks closed on an 11-4 run to take a 60-43 lead at halftime. Teague was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field, had two assists, one rebound and a steal and was plus-11, best among the Hawks’ starters. Carroll shot 3-for-5 from 3-point range to finish the first half with 10 points, two rebounds, two assists and a steal. Horford scored a team-high 11 points on 3-for-8 shooting with six rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks. Continue Reading…

With the Hawks sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference after Sunday’s win over the visiting Denver Nuggets, those who predicted a strong season for Atlanta might be tempted to pat themselves on the back. However, in light of the fact that the Hawks have played by far the easiest schedule to this point, it might be time to pump the brakes. While the Hawks are having an amazing season offensively, the team is among the league’s worst in rebounding and opponents’ at-rim FG%.

What follows is an overview of what the Hawks are doing well and what areas need improvement. First, the good news. If you go through NBA.com’s player tracking data, you will see that the Hawks are at or near the top in almost every offensive category. The Hawks lead the NBA in catch-and-shoot effective FG% (57.2) and points per game (34.3), are eighth in PPG off drives (31.4), are second only to the Warriors in PPG created via assist (59.8) and are fourth in the league in overall effective FG% (53.1).

Interestingly, the Hawks are ranked eighth in effective FG% on pull-up shots (43.7) despite the fact that the Hawks attempt the second-fewest pull up shots per game. This indicates that the Hawks are shooting well from the perimeter regardless of shot type, but have made a systemic decision to eschew pull-up attempts in favor of shots created via assist. That the Hawks are effectively 13.5% better on catch-and-shoot attempts (compared to pull-ups) illustrates why this decision was a good one. Continue Reading…

The Hawks destroyed the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night with a final score of 98-75.

The game started slow, with the scoreboard showing 18-16 in Brooklyn’s favor after the first quarter. That changed in the second quarter, as DeMarre Carroll got hot and hit four 3-pointers in the period, including a buzzer-beater to close the half. Carroll outscored the Nets on his own in the quarter, tallying 14 points to Brooklyn’s 13. The 13 points were a season-low in a quarter for the Nets.

The third quarter played a little tighter, but the Hawks had already built up a 20-plus point lead. By the time the fourth quarter started, the Hawks were again firing on all cylinders and the Atlanta led grew to as many as 32. Dennis Schröder was the main guy leading the Hawks at this point, as he scored 11 points and grabbed three steals in the quarter before being taken out of the game. Schröder’s totals for the game were 13 points, five assists, and four steals.

By the end of the game, the Hawks had taken all of the regulars off of the floor and had a lineup of Shelvin Mack, Thabo Sefolosha, Kent Bazemore, Elton Brand, and Mike Muscala on the floor. Can’t say we’ve seen a lot of that lineup this year, although if more situations like this arise, I think the Atlanta faithful will gladly enjoy that lineup. Continue Reading…

Hawks Blast the Heat in Miami

Bo Churney —  December 4, 2014 — 1 Comment

The Hawks went down to Miami on Wednesday and defeated the Miami Heat 112-102 for the Hawks’ fourth straight win.

Atlanta controlled the game nearly wire-to-wire, opening up double-digit leads in as early as the first quarter. Sharing was caring to open the game, as the Hawks assisted on all 11 of their field goals in the quarter.

The second quarter saw Miami surge back, mostly behind the scoring of a healthy Dwyane Wade, who missed the first meeting between the two teams in November. Wade scored 10 in the quarter, cutting the Atlanta lead to one until the Hawks rallied behind Dennis Schröder, who closed the half with a wicked layup attempt in traffic, giving the Hawks a 55-47 lead.

The second half is where the Hawks really blew the doors off of the Heat, powered by Jeff Teague’s 22 second half points. Although the Heat were able to close the margin some, the Hawks were leading by as many as 18 in the fourth quarter after Teague hit a step-back 3-pointer. Teague finished the night with 27 points, five rebounds, and six assists, which was quite the performance after sitting on the bench for the entire fourth quarter the night before.

For the second straight night, Dennis Schröder set a new career-high in points, this time with 16. Schröder continues to be highly efficient with either scoring or passing on drives to the basket, and he augmented his scoring by hitting two 3-pointers against Miami. The young German is currently averaging 19.3 points and six assists per 36 minutes. Continue Reading…

The Atlanta Hawks remain difficult to draw conclusions about in the early part of the season. Entering Saturday ranked 25th in defensive efficiency and giving up a bloated 106.6 points per 100 possessions (the Hawks currently rank 21st), and playing a fourth game in five nights, the Hawks were stellar defensively for the second night in a row. After holding the Pelicans to 28 first-half points Friday, the Hawks’ best defensive first half of the season, the team repeated the feat against the Hornets.

Much was made (by me) about the Hawks’ playoff defensive performance against the Pacers. After ranking a mediocre 14th in defensive efficiency for the 2013-14 regular season, the Hawks held the Pacers to 101.6 points per 100 posessions and ranked third among 16 playoff teams. Some chalked up the Pacers’ poor offensive showing to internal strife, a theory that is looking good after the Hornets’ implosion since acquiring Lance Stephenson.

I theorized that the Hawks’ playoff performance was evidence of defensive progression under Mike Budenholzer. Then this season happened. Despite playing Paul Millsap at center frequently while Pero Antic recovered from a stress fracture in his foot, the Hawks had a strong defensive series against Indiana. This season opened with a healthy roster featuring the return of Al Horford, a technically-sound defender with quick feet, able to guard centers and switch onto opposing perimeter players. Despite relative good health, the Hawks were giving up 2.5 more points per 100 possessions compared to last season. Continue Reading…

Hawks Curb Stomp the Hornets

Bo Churney —  November 29, 2014 — 2 Comments

This game was a blowout, meaning there is very little to talk about and discuss from it, so excuse me while I have a little fun with this one.

The Hawks dominated the Hornets on Saturday night in Philips Arena, with a final score of 105-75. And really, the game was not even that close. The Hawks were up 80-36 at one point in the third quarter before they finally pulled the starters. For those that missed the game, here’s a visual representation of how it went down:

Yes, it was that bad. Charlotte’s offense is already awful and that was combined with missing Gary Neal and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, with the latter’s absence also creating a hole in the Hornets’ defense. The Hawks capitalized on these weaknesses and mixed it with some hot shooting, leading to a 64-28 lead at halftime where the Hawkers were shooting 61% and the Hornets were shooting 25.6%.

“That was a good effort that hopefully we can build from,” said head coach Mike Budenholzer in a very blunt statement to open his post game interview. Continue Reading…

The league’s best player so far this season — Anthony Davis — arrived in Atlanta with his Pelicans on Friday night and he left with a 100-91 defeat to the Jeff Teague-led Atlanta Hawks.

Teague’s hot night started off early, where he scored eight points in the first seven minutes of the game on a mix of floaters and layups. His magnificent play continued throughout the game, as Teague was weaving and scheming off of a bevy of screens, resulting in a 26-point, seven-assist night for the Atlanta point guard.

After giving up 126 points to the Raptors on Wednesday, the Hawks’ defense locked down on Friday, allowing just 28 points in the first half. Part of that was the Pelicans employing Austin Rivers as a starter, but Atlanta’s big men did a great job at contesting shots at the rim and the guards were fighting hard through screens to prevent New Orleans from getting open looks on the perimeter.

The Hawks were only 5-for-17 (29.4%) on 3s for the night, but an important make came late in the fourth quarter from DeMarre Carroll. With the shot clock winding down after a Davis block on Al Horford, Paul Millsap kicked the ball out to Carroll in the corner, who promptly sank a contested 3-pointer to push the Hawks’ lead back to 10 points. Continue Reading…