Atlanta Hawks: Teague’s Time

Exactly when is he no longer 'Rook? (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

Exactly when is he no longer 'Rook? (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

Still no word on what Rick Sund will do with Woody. Rumblings suggest it doesn’t look good for him, but you never know, so my Woody Watch continues.

Teague was a topic at locker clean-out day for the Hawks. During exit interviews, Woody told Bibby that next season will be Teague’s time.

“He’s getting older now,” Woody said of Bibby. “He might have taken us as far as he can take us. Teague, we probably have to give him first crack to see if he can do the job [next season].”

Woody said Bibby took the news well: “Mike is always about winning. He is the ultimate pro. He knows the dynamics of a team. He know he’s getting older. That’s no knock on him. Mike Bibby has had a great career. And make no mistake about it, we wouldn’t have gotten this far without Mike Bibby.”

Even if Woody’s not the coach next season, you can be sure the next guy will make Teague’s development a priority. It’s become a focus for the franchise, with good reason: Bibby is set to make $5.6 million next season, a hefty sum for a backup, but much more palatable if your starter still is making rookie scale ($1.5 million for Teague).

Read between the lines and it’s clear ASG’s Michael Gearon Jr. thinks Woody should have made it Teague’s time this season. Actually, you don’t even really have to read between the lines.

“He has extraordinary talent and is capable of producing now,” Gearon said of Teague.

Also: “Teague has a ton of talent, I would have loved to see him play more this year.”

I ‘m still not convinced that would have made a big difference for this season. Sure, 15-18 consistent minutes per game for a point guard who can stay in front of people would have helped, but the rest of Teague’s game is still pretty raw. Maybe I’m wrong about that.

But either way a long view was necessary here because getting ‘Rook more time this season definitely would have helped the team for next season, when the Hawks may need him for big minutes. From Gearon’s comments you can see management clearly was on board with that plan so Woody had the support to take a few short-term lumps to get ‘Rook ready.

Summer league should be good for Teague, though the comp can vary widely in those games. He will be one of the best guys out there, he’ll get lots of run and he should gain some confidence. More importantly, my plan is to let my bosses know how important this story will be so I can get a work trip to Vegas.

MC

200 comments Add your comment

Give the man some credit

May 11th, 2010
10:22 pm

niremetal

May 11th, 2010
10:24 pm

More importantly, my plan is to let my bosses know how important this story will be so I can get a work trip to Vegas.

If you’re going to Vegas, you might want to hold your cards closer to your vest than that, MC ;)

Bryce IV

May 11th, 2010
10:39 pm

I know this has nothing to do with this blog post, but are my eyes deceiving me? The Celtics are destroying the Cavaliers in the Cavs own home court. That kind of makes me with the Hawks would have been matched up against Cleveland in the second round, rather than Orlando. Cleveland is looking no where near contender-status lately.

Bryce IV

May 11th, 2010
10:40 pm

*wish the Hawks, not with the Hawks

Bryce IV

May 11th, 2010
10:41 pm

Lebron’s 3-14 shooting performance is making Joe Johnson’s game 3 and 4 chokes not look that bad, after all. LOL

fsjr

May 11th, 2010
10:41 pm

I’ll be surprised if Woodson gives Teague any meaningful playing time next season. If Woodson returns, he’ll lobby for another veteran point guard (Bibby’s old and slow) in case Teague faulters and still not develop him. He’ll play the new guy instead.

Section 303

May 11th, 2010
10:43 pm

Will Teague’s nickname still be “Rook” next season?

It will be interesting to see how Teague does. He had his moments, both good and bad, this year. From what I’ve seen, he needs to work on his jumper. He’s fast. He can jump out of the gym. Certainly, he has potential. But, I’m not sure he is even the best player in his family. His younger brother is a stud.

Big Ray

May 11th, 2010
10:56 pm

MC ,

Yes, Teague’s game still looks raw. Was 10 mpg this season (and 10 oddball mpg at that) supposed to do something like that?

I’ll bring back up a quote from Woody that came via either you or Ken Segiura: “I have the luxury of bringing him (Teague) along slowly.”

The guy has been in the league for a year, and he’s still raw. Unless somebody can prove to me where he got great opportunities to prove what he can do and squandered them away , the reason he is still raw is obvious. And summer league is no preparation for real time NBA game play. As I recall, Teague tore up mini-camp last year, and did well in preseason. What’s he going to prove in summer league?

Even if he scores 30 a game and dishes out 15 assists per contest, what will people say? The same stuff they always say: “Summer league is a joke. Summer league is a bunch of NBA wannabe scrubs. Nothing that happens in summer league means anything.”

This year was a waste for a draft pick that ownership and management both had hopes for. Woody-philes can try explaining that even as their hero is marched off the premises. Heh.

The Truth

May 11th, 2010
10:59 pm

If you’ve been watching the Boston-Cavs game, you’ll notice Doc cleared his bench once the win was secured. If this had been the Hawks-Orlando series, Van Gundy would have had his starters playing to the near end regardless of the secured win; this just to run the score up. Yes the Hawks deserved the “Beat-Down” but some of the victory margin was out Van Gundy’s ego.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 11th, 2010
11:00 pm

Nice to see Michael Gearon — the only Hawks owner I have some respect for — has expectations for his team just as high as most of us, and isn’t satisfied with simply increasing the regular season win total.

As for Woody, in the unlikely and unfortunate event that he returns, I’m not holding my breath to see “Teague time” next year. Even if Teague starts, he’ll probably get the Royal Ivey treatment (play until the first timeout, sit on the bench in favor of Bibby or Crawford the rest of the game).

Najeh Davenpoop

May 11th, 2010
11:03 pm

Teague’s game might be raw, but Bibby’s game is nonexistent. I’ll take raw over nonexistent 365 days a week and 7 weeks a month.

Big Ray

May 11th, 2010
11:04 pm

Najeh ,

I read MC’s article and listened to Woody do what he normally does: tell on himself. Give him an A for honesty.

If he returns, then we know that Sund is the looney in town. No GM worth his suit waits until it is utterly too late to let a coach go. The ones that do end up leaving town before the coach does.

Big Ray

May 11th, 2010
11:05 pm

Raw is what happens when you don’t put the heat to the meat. It took Woody 93 games to see what some people saw 2 years ago. Gee, Woody, Bibby is getting older? No way! Who saw that coming?

Mystikal

May 11th, 2010
11:07 pm

Good news, Teague is going to get the nod next season. Sure we’d all have loved to see that sooner and have him developed for this past playoffs, but in the words of Woody, “It is what it is.” At least this off season is starting off with some good news.

What????

May 11th, 2010
11:08 pm

Exit: Woodson, Bibby, Mo Evans

Enter: Avery Johnson, Travis Outlaw, Brendan Heywood, and A.J Price (gotta snatch him from Indy, next Mo Williams for sure)

Draft: Gordon Heyward or Gani Lawal

Re-Sign: Joe Johsnon

GET ER’ DONE SUND!

Lineup/depth chart (15 players)

Jeff Teague>>>>A.J Price
Joe Johnson>>>Jamal Crawford
Gordon Heyward>>>Travis Outlaw, Marvin Williams, Mario West
Josh Smith>>>>>Zaza/Travis Outlaw/Randolph Morris
Al Horford>>>>>Brendan Heywood/Jason Collins

We can win a title with this (Coupled with the right coach). Some of you are making too many changes to a 53 win squad. Half of it is nonsense/impossible moves. Be realistic please. PG was a huge problem. With Price and Teague you get twp big PG’s Teague at 6′2 and Price at 6′3 and poth play solid D and can stay in front of their man. With a new coach we wont have to worry about that stupid switching anymore. Gordon Heyward gets the start because he’s a beast pure shooter and More athletic/coordinated than Marvin. He will space the floor for us. Teague needs to dominate he ball and keep it out of JJ’s hands. He just moves too slow (it’s so annoying, but this might be b/c of
Woodson) he just needs to catch and finish quickly. I see Teague turning into a combination of Tony Parker and Rajon Rondo (somwhere in between).

Price is an exellent shooter who can play off the ball with the second unit since Jamal is at his best with it in his hands. Price is a good Ball handler as well. All of the Wings will be neede in the future (i’m assuming LeBron will stay in the East). We also have size up front with Heywood and others.

The Truth

May 11th, 2010
11:09 pm

Since the upcoming draft window is 7-weeks, we should be able to read the tea leaves within the next 1-3 weeks. If no action has been made by then (God forbid), that means Woody will likely return as HC.

fayncdawg

May 11th, 2010
11:10 pm

THIS WHY WE NEED DOC RIVERS! THE HAWKS MUST GET HIM! IF DOC CAN MAKE WILD CHILD RONDO INTO A GREAT PG, HE CAN DO THE SAME FOR TEAGUE! HECK< I THINK HE COULD HAVE MADE AC LAW INTO A GREAT PG!

fayncdawg

May 11th, 2010
11:12 pm

AND RONDO WAS (AND ON OFFENSE STILL IS) VERY VERY RAW!

Michael Cunningham

May 11th, 2010
11:18 pm

@ Big Ray: “The guy has been in the league for a year, and he’s still raw. Unless somebody can prove to me where he got great opportunities to prove what he can do and squandered them away , the reason he is still raw is obvious.”

it certainly can’t have anything at all to do with being 21-years old, playing two years of college ball and being drafted outside the lottery.

hawksfan

May 11th, 2010
11:19 pm

teague may be raw but he is oozing with potential. he can get to the rim at will and either finish or dish, stay in front of every pg in the league (its a pg league now), jump out of the gym, block shots for his size, pass very well….the only thing he needs to work on is his jump shot. However, his jumpshot was very effective in college. i think his jumpshot will come along when he gets more min and more shooting oppurtunities, in that he wont have to worry about missing and getting benched. Here are so valid comparisons to what teague’s athleticism and potential can equate to:
1. Monta Ellis- Hybrid 1,2 can jump out of the gym like teague.
2. way, way, way, way, way, way miniature version of dwyane wade- im not by any means saying Teague will be half as good as wade, but i am saying that aside from the height diffrence and wades consistent jump shot, there are tons of similarities between the two from an athletic and ability standpoint.
3. Jerryd Bayless- Hybrid 1,2 extremely athletic as with teague. undersized.
4. Steve Francis- Hybrid 1,2 same game, same abilities, both can score.

Mystikal

May 11th, 2010
11:23 pm

Big Ray, i’m with you. When did Teague get a real shot. Coming into the game for 2 minutes at a time, before the half or in clean up duty is not going to help anyone. He was usually in the game with the second unit or playing against the other teams bench. There were plenty of opportunities (against quicker guards) where he could have made a difference with his speed. Rondo went through his growing pains on a veteran team, but he got better by playing. I hope Teague hasn’t gotten too gun shy; afraid to mess up for Woody might yank him.

Mystikal

May 11th, 2010
11:30 pm

MC,
Teague was drafted @ 19. I believe Rondo was drafted @ 21, and he too only stayed in school 2 yrs. No Rondo didn’t come out the gate gunning, but he played (be it on a bad team) and got better cause he had the opportunity. Who knows he may have been good out of the gate, but he had no one around them so who knows.

mike

May 11th, 2010
11:37 pm

can we sign LeBron now that he is one foot out the door in cleveland?.. imagine the athleticism- LBJ, Jsmoove, Al horford, teague and crawford! Can we afford him if Joe leaves? Hip hop capital, black hollywood, etc whats not for a guy like LeBron not to like about ATL?

Mystikal

May 11th, 2010
11:37 pm

I really hope Woody goes, for the benefit of the team. Woody did a wonderful job helping the team get better every year, but he has no offensive philosophy. Just letting Joe and Crawford iso 70% of the time causes everyone else to be so stagnate. I was not shocked that we couldn’t score in the magic series. Aside from getting Crawford, nothing changed from when we got swept by Cleveland last year. There was no floor spacing, no ball movement, no post threatt, and we were predictably easy to defend. For that reason, I believe we need a new coach to break us out of that mentality. Oh, and the fact that no one listens to Woody anymore, anyway.

fayncdawg

May 11th, 2010
11:40 pm

Mike, I haven’t checked yet, but they were getting hammered by Boston last I checked! Is it over?

Ramon

May 11th, 2010
11:42 pm

Sorry, but I can understand Woody’s approach. Gearon doesn’t know much about basketball to start (the same way he doesn’t know anything about hockey —lol). If you have a corvette that’s been driving pretty good. Its not a champion car yet, but its closer to being a champion than it is to not making the cut, you wouldn’t want to pass them keys to an inexperienced talented young driver when you have an experienced drive who has more wisdom than majority of the field.

Ramon

May 11th, 2010
11:45 pm

Teague got a real shot in the games he started, but looked scared. Majority of the time Teague looked more scared than anything. You never seen Paul look scared half way through his rookie year. I’m not saying Teague won’t be a great point guard (I love his game). But I don’t think he was truly ready to lead this first unit even part of the time.

doc

May 11th, 2010
11:46 pm

i guess the operative word is what is raw and how does raw become seasoned … by playing. the kid in milwaukee was raw but able to deliver some mercurial plays as his season wore on. maybe teague would have done something similar. didnt the kid drafted one spot ahead of him do fairly well, too?

MC we have seen woody give no respect to “rooks” for too long to not have seen this coming. we all did, at the beginning of the season. woody delivered in spite of his early season protestations. finally why didnt woody se what we did as bibby aged so in front of our eyes? i still think he will be the most over paid individual for what we got out of him in the end, even more so than speedy who never played. we have paid him about 30 mil and counting this far for two+ years work. throw in another 11 mil or so for the next two years with declining production. hmmm.

Woodys No Goody

May 11th, 2010
11:47 pm

This Woody Watch stinks! Get it over with and let him go!

Najeh Davenpoop

May 11th, 2010
11:47 pm

“If you have a corvette that’s been driving pretty good. Its not a champion car yet, but its closer to being a champion than it is to not making the cut, you wouldn’t want to pass them keys to an inexperienced talented young driver when you have an experienced drive who has more wisdom than majority of the field.”

I’d rather have a talented, inexperienced young driver than an 80-year-old blind senile driver.

It would be an entirely different story if the Hawks had a competent point guard ahead of Teague. Somehow I don’t think Bibby’s 9 points and 4 assists a game on 41% shooting were a huge improvement over what Teague would have provided.

boiler up

May 11th, 2010
11:47 pm

I don’t know all of the technacalities of the finances but I’ll tell u this… Bring in a coach who will set standards and players who will play by those. Sund has his hands full more then we think. I think it’s a nightmare behind the scenes. I gotta be honest about Smith.. He’s electrifying to watch at times but he is incredibally selfish at times. Johnson need another scoring forward that can shoot 21 feet out… Please be smart and don’t make drastic moves that will be another set back. Crawford is great on and off the floor and play’s hard at all times..

Ramon

May 11th, 2010
11:49 pm

Najeh, Bibby was the exclusive reason for the Hawks being top in the league in fewest turnovers.

northcyde

May 11th, 2010
11:54 pm

All I know, is that I would bet that M. Cunningham saw a lot more of Teague in practice, than anyone on this board. Ad if MC says that he’s “raw”, then I’ll tend to believe that.

But I refuse to hype Teague up like he’s the answer, before he proves that he’s the answer to our neverending PG search. Right now, I don’t see it, but I hope he proves me wrong.

Teague . . just give us 9 pts . . 5 asst . . 3 rebs . . 1 stl . . 41% FG

I could live with that in your debut season as a starter.

TheAntiMe

May 11th, 2010
11:58 pm

Play the Wheel of Fortune slots, MC. They rock!

The Truth

May 11th, 2010
11:58 pm

I think the Hawks are going about transitioning Teague into the starting PG position the wrong way. Teague (like any player) should not be anointed the position, he should earn it. That is way the Acie Law experiment did not work. He was proclaimed the Hawks PG future before he proved himself. As a result, it took the hunger out of him so he showed no drive to take it from Bibby. So he played the position as though he was entitled to have it.

lewis

May 11th, 2010
11:58 pm

Ramon,

That’s because he never did anything with the ball.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 12th, 2010
12:01 am

“Najeh, Bibby was the exclusive reason for the Hawks being top in the league in fewest turnovers.”

Bibby was also the exclusive reason the Hawks were middle of the pack in defensive efficiency despite having above average defenders starting at every other position, and the exclusive reason why this team employed the switching defense.

I’d gladly live with a couple more turnovers per game if it meant the Stephen Currys and Brandon Jennings of the world weren’t guaranteed 30 points every time they played the Hawks.

RTh1974

May 12th, 2010
12:04 am

Jeff Teague is a raw talent, true enough, so was Evans in Sacramento, what about Jennings from the Bucks? If Teague is the future, the future is here, we losing a coach that has taken the Hawks as far as he can, Thank you Woody, u did your best from all the crap Billy Knight drafted (AC Law, Sheldon Williams, Josh Childress, Marvin Williams, Solomon Jones, Salim Stoudamire, Royal Ivey, and who are Viktor Sanikidze and Cenk Akyo, the Hawks drafted them) All drafted by Billy Knight, none of these players have made a impact on a NBA team, its not ALL Woodson fault, but gets the blame cause Knight ran away from the team.

northcyde

May 12th, 2010
12:04 am

Yep . . good ol Jamal Crawford. Shot 35% FG in the playoffs, and didn’t play a lick of defense, but man . . he does play hard every night.

LOL . . . ( rolling eyes )

As bad as he shot in the Milwaukee series, he even shot worse in the Orlando series. But people will diss Smoove, but hype him up . . . simply because he plays fast . . not because he’s plays efficiently.

I need one of those “beat a dead horse” cartoons. This is a horse that I’ll beat to death.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 12th, 2010
12:04 am

I’ll say it again — it’s not like I think Teague would have been some amazing superstar if he had played. He would have probably gone through his growing pains the same way Rajon Rondo did in Boston his first two years (he was worse than Teague on a per-minute basis his rookie year). I just think Bibby was that bad for most of the season and in the playoffs.

Grandad

May 12th, 2010
12:10 am

Michael:

C’mon now…yes he is as raw now as when we drafted him.
But Wdsn wasted his yr.
If he had played meaningful minutes all yr. long he would
not be raw today.
Not saying he’d be an emerging all-star the “raw” would be
worn off.

Mystikal

May 12th, 2010
12:11 am

If Woody doesn’t get his walking papers by the end of May, this is going to be a painfully long summer!

Mystikal

May 12th, 2010
12:19 am

This years’ draft has plenty of size, which is a rarity now. I’d love to see us trade up and a center to develop. Everyone is in agreement we need a true center in the middle and than move Horford to PF and blah blah… No one has any suggestions where said center is coming from. There just aren’t that many bigs to go around, that is why so many are drastically overpaid(Okafor/Tyson Chandler). Plus, we still haven’t turned the corner as far as free agents wanting to come here so we have to be pro-active. Does Sund need a talent scout, I can make his summer a lot easier??

Melvin

May 12th, 2010
12:23 am

Aint no way Sund will rehire Woody after Gearon threw him under the bus in MC article. Gearon just made Sund decision for him. If Sund extend Woodson contract, then guess who head is on the chopping block (hint, it ain’t Woody’s)?

Grandad

May 12th, 2010
12:26 am

[On Teague still being 'Raw'/ due to lack of experience]

“There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” [Will Rogers]

northcyde

May 12th, 2010
12:29 am

And let’s be real about the Woody – Teague situation. Woody was in the last year of his contract. Without the job security of an extension, why would Woody take a chance on Teague to give him extended minutes?

Woody was trying to win games, not develop young talent like he did with Smoove, Chill, and Marvin. If Woody believed that playing Teague would help him win more games, he probably brings him along a little faster.

No job security + wanting to win games + not believing that Teague could help him this year + allowing Bibby/Jamal to play a scoring 1 = Teague riding the pine all but 5 – 10 min a night

rusty

May 12th, 2010
12:30 am

rusty

May 12th, 2010
12:09 am
woody has to go. he made horrible substitions,would not play his bench,refused to bench mavin or
bibby,let joe run the team amuck with his dribbling & ball hogging shutting down all ball movement &player movement,had no control of js.,had no offensive plays we never get easy shots,ran that horrible switching defense creating horrible mis matches for us & pulling our big men away from the boards.must have hated teague & joe smith,got beat by sorry teams like the nets,knicks & toronto.
after our great start our season went downward just like what happened last year,showed favoitism
to certain player & treated others like crap,never made changes or adjustments during games or between games,had to the stubborn coach in the nba,vever had any set plays,never seen a team who had a harder time getting the ball in bounds. he has to GO teague never got a chance. woody was always standing behind him with an axe. was woody jealous of him or what
.

Grandad

May 12th, 2010
12:33 am

Ramon v Najeh:

Not only do you want a young fella drivin that vette,
You had best put us, ahem, older fellers in a truck,
so we can sit up high & see the road. Plus if we run
in the ditch, we can just run right back out again.

Grandad

May 12th, 2010
12:34 am

I’m not 80 but I’m gainin’ on it!

Ramon

May 12th, 2010
12:41 am

Najeh, I’m not saying Teague wouldn’t have done well. But given the circumstances, you can’t really blame Woody for not playing him 18 min pg. The team won 53 games, when majority of these bloggers guessed at most it would be 48. Playing Teague, JJ, and Crawford would’ve been giving away too much size to continually run with that lineup. I wished he would’ve played Teague a little more. But as I said, you can’t really blame him for that. Not when you have two players on the team who have both started over 500 games at the point guard position.