(5-5) 103 – 113 (5-4)
J. Teague (ATL): 33 pts, 4 reb, 10 ast
E. Turner (PHI): 27 pts, 4 reb, 4 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]
The Hawks were all over the place — but not in a bad way — before this game. We found out that Gustavo Ayon would be starting in place of Paul Millsap, which sent me into a, “WHAT’S WRONG WITH PAUL?!?” frenzy, but Coach Bud was just testing with lineups. And, of course, we found out that Lou Williams would be active for this game, which should have been the highlight of the day. However, Jeff Teague stole that spotlight with his play on the court.
“He got going a little bit, so we stuck with him,” said Coach Mike Budenholzer. “I think the message throughout preseason and training camp was that when he’s aggressive, usually something good is going to happen.”
Teague was extremely aggressive, getting to the line 13 times and sinking 12 of those opportunities. Teague is now fifth in the league in free throw attempts, and first and seventh in the league in assists per game and points per game. So far, he’s been the best point guard in the Eastern Conference.
Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]
Al Horford: Al got the start at power forward tonight against the smaller Thaddeus Young, and he started out of the gate strong with eight of the team’s first 15 points. Coach Budenholzer said that it likely wasn’t because of Al’s PF positioning that helped this, but I think it could have contributed a bit. Also, I’m really close to starting an #AlHorfordTravelWatch, because his only two turnovers in this game, again, were travels. On the positive side, at least those are very correctable mistakes. 9/10
Jeff Teague: I already gushed enough about Jeff in the opening section, but here’s some more; he’s really found a groove at getting into the lane and being able to either take it to the basket or to find a teammate. Hopefully this type of aggression can continue. 10/10
Gustavo Ayon: He did well in his surprise start, which also happened to be his first playing time of the season. He had six points and four rebounds in 17 minutes, which he made the most of by getting five fouls in. I don’t know how often we should expect him to start, but I foresee a return to Horford/Millsap for the Knicks. 6/10
DeMarre Carroll: Forgotten in all the Jeff/Lou news was that DeMarre had a career night. He was 5-for-8 on three pointers, including one late in the fourth that gave Jeff Teague his 10th assist. His 21 points on the night were a career high. 9/10
Kyle Korver: The streak is 82 now, which Kyle decided to get out of the way in the first quarter. He didn’t have any steals in this game, but he did have a block, which actually brought down his average of two steals and/or blocks per game. 8/10 Continue Reading…