Atlanta Hawks: J.J. to Teague: ‘Don’t defer to me’

Hawks want Teague to push the pace.

Hawks want Teague to push the pace.

The pickup games at Philips in advance of training camp are loosely organized affairs. The Hawks’ full squad hasn’t been on the floor yet. The stakes are low and the comp isn’t what Teague will see once the ball tips for real.

But J.J. was out there with Teague this week, and already he’s pushing Teague to stop being Rook’, taking a backseat to the vets, and start being the guy who’s ready to be the starting point guard.

“‘Play your game. Don’t just defer to me a lot.’ ” Teague said J.J. told him the other day on the court. “When he said that, that helped me a lot. I’m going to be a lot more aggressive.”

That message already had been delivered by L.D. and his assistants. But it’s one thing to hear it from the coaches, another to hear it from the All-Star guard who for a while now has been the guy everyone defers to on this team.

“That’s his next step,” J.J. said. “When he is out on the court, he has to be the leader. He is the guy who makes us run as a team. When he gets in the game, he has to be aggressive, he has to get guys in the right spot, he has to talk more.”

Teague said other teammates have told him the same things, so he plans to go into camp with an aggressive mindset. He’s also changed his body, staying in Atlanta this summer and hitting the weight room. He said he’s up to 186 after being listed at 180 last season.

“I think my legs are a lot stronger,” he said. “That’s what I’ve really been working on. For defensive purposes [because] I was coming out of my stance a lot.”

Teague also has been working on his jump shot with assistant Lester Conner in an effort to shore up a weakness in his game.

“That is really going to help me out there,” he said. “I’ve been making a lot of threes.”

It’s no secret Teague’s development is key for the Hawks. L.D. wants the Hawks to play offense at a faster pace–Teague is among players who have been running on the track at Georgia Tech, something the Hawks did last summer “but not like this,” he said. L.D. also wants the Hawks to play more straight-up D, and Teague probably is the Hawks guard best able to keep his man in front of him.

Both of L.D.’s goals would seem to be more attainable with Teague playing significantly more than the 10.1 minutes per game he logged in 2009-10. This is Teague’s chance to establish himself with the Hawks and show that he’s at least a bona fide rotation guy, if not a starter, on a good team

He said he understands what’s at stake.

“If you want to play in this league, when you get the opportunity you’ve got to take advantage of it,” Teague said. “I think what gives me an advantage is we have a lot of good players here who are going to help me along the way. We’ve got Bibby, who is a veteran point guard. He has been helping me since Day One. I know he is still going to play, but just to get an opportunity to play [more] is great.”

J.J. said Teague’s teammates have his back.

“I think he is going to be good,” J.J. said. “Last year was a learning experience. The point guard position is the toughest position to come into the league and try to play. He had his ups and downs last year, but this year I think he will be a lot better.”

MC

208 comments Add your comment

Hmmm

September 17th, 2010
1:52 pm

Geoff

September 17th, 2010
1:56 pm

Hmmm

September 17th, 2010
1:58 pm

Yes Teague, Take over. Good Post MC.

I can’t wait to see him JC2 and Pape Sy in some preseason action.

Mr. Phil

September 17th, 2010
2:00 pm

{should have been} First

terrell

September 17th, 2010
2:16 pm

Beat out Bibby in camp, and make us all BELIEVERS.

Show me state

September 17th, 2010
2:16 pm

Great article MC and JJ was just telling the truth about Teague stepping up…this team goes as far as the point guard takes them and dats the same with the other 29 teams…

MC…there’s a rumor dat the Hawks may be the sleeper team about getting Dampier according to yahoo…i personally don’t see it happening but what’s ur take on it?

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=ys-dampierfreeagency091710

theZaZaguy

September 17th, 2010
2:20 pm

I already have my chant ready for Pape Sy, which rhymes with Francky. Vas-y Pape Sy c’est bon, Vas-y Pape Sy c’est bon bon bon, It comes from a very popular french pop song “Fruit de la passion”.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bONeCoik1Ts

O'Brien

September 17th, 2010
2:29 pm

And that’s exactly what we need. Players pushing each other, helping each other to get better. I am looking forward to training camp.

From the previous blog;

Marvin is 6′9″, 240 lbs, with a 7′3″ wing span. Plus he has shown a smooth jump shot at times.

He has talent and potential, but I don’t knowif he has the mental fortitude needed to be an all star caliber player, or even a lock down defender.

However, I am a hawks fan first and foremost, so I will root for Marvin, and hope with LD’s help, Maybe this is the year we see Marvin put it all together.

However, I am not holding my breath.

cp

September 17th, 2010
2:37 pm

I love what I’m reading. He has put in work in the weight room, working on that jumper, and running track. I think Teague will be very solid this year. We don’t need to score a lot of points. We need him to run the team, play solid defense, and keep the turnovers down. I think he will be fine. I’m more concerned with the scrub bigs we have. I hope guys like Al and Josh stay healthy. We cant afford to have either one of those guys go down because the guys behind them are very ehhhh..

O’Brien all great points about Marvin. He just does not have that fire or attitude to become a better player. Its like you said on the last blog, he is fine with taking a back seat to everyone. He needs to step it up this year. He has to hit those open jumpers, play better d, and rebound the ball better. I’m like you and wont hold my breath but we really need him to do those things.

Hmmm

September 17th, 2010
2:39 pm

http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2010/09/14/hang-time-podcast-episode-24/

^Marvin speaks on Sekou’s NBA.com Blog. He talks about his struggles this past season, why he thinks they happend, and how he’s going to change that.

Ramon

September 17th, 2010
2:40 pm

If the Hawks sign Dampier, they will be trading Zaza.

Those are huge words for Teague coming from JJ.

MC, have Josh or Joe came in smaller than their size last season? I think both of them lost a lot of quickness by trying to bulk up.

The Real JC

September 17th, 2010
3:03 pm

“Don’t just defer to me a lot?” That’s still kind of a mixed message. What’s “a lot?” When should he defer and when shouldn’t he? If you want Teague to run the offense with confidence, say something absolute, like “don’t defer to me.” Period.

Coach D

September 17th, 2010
3:15 pm

Let’s just hope these are not just words from the players. If Teague steps up, it could a little more interesting year.

Michael Cunningham

September 17th, 2010
3:33 pm

@ Show me state: “MC…there’s a rumor dat the Hawks may be the sleeper team about getting Dampier according to yahoo…i personally don’t see it happening but what’s ur take on it?”

i’ve seen that a couple places. it doesn’t match what i’ve heard and doesn’t really make sense after adding Etan, but i guess you never know.

Michael Cunningham

September 17th, 2010
3:35 pm

@ Ramon: “MC, have Josh or Joe came in smaller than their size last season? I think both of them lost a lot of quickness by trying to bulk up.”

not sure, only saw them briefly the other day. they weren’t obviously smaller.

LyonsJimmy

September 17th, 2010
3:38 pm

northcyde

September 17th, 2010
3:41 pm

[ @ the Real JC . . . JJ told Teague the right thing. That was one of my complaints with Teague last year. He would come down the court, and just pass it off to Jamal, and run and hide. There were times last year in which had he kept the ball and looked to create on his own, that the 2nd team would've been better off on offense.

Teague didn't even completely run the show at Wake Forest, so expecting him to take complete control of the Hawks this year, is an unreasonable request.

What isn't unreasonable, is telling Teague to be more aggressive and having him pick his spots to score the basketball. And if he happens to grab a defensive rebound, use his speed to push the ball up the court and score that way if need be.

JJ is the go to guy and 3rd team All-NBA player. You definitely don't take the ball completely out of his hands. But you can lessen the burden on him, by having Teague handle some of the leadership responsibilities.

It's like I was telling Grandad a few weeks ago, JJ is the one guy on the team I'm not worried about, when it comes to wanting to do what Drew needs done. He'll convey to the players whatever the coach says.

If people remember, JJ did the exact same thing with Jamal Crawford, when Crawford was unsure about stepping on toes coming to his new team. After Jamal played tenative in the season opener vs Indiana, JJ basically told Jamal to play his game and do what he does best. And Jamal responded just like Teague did, saying that it was good that JJ told him that.

Let's hope that Teague responds similar to how Jamal responded to JJ's "vote of confidence". ]

J.J.Count Da Money

September 17th, 2010
4:23 pm

LOL!!! J.J. justs wants to lay back and count his money and put all the responsibility on Teague.
Teague is J.J.’s out this year

ryan

September 17th, 2010
4:29 pm

Dampier will be like Shaq wants to be a champion before he hangs them up so its the Heat to loose .

UGA

September 17th, 2010
4:34 pm

MC:
Which Crawford was in the gym the other day? Jordan or Jamal? Thanks

Macaroni Tony

September 17th, 2010
4:43 pm

@UGA i was thinking the same thing. @MC I would like to know the same way.

I Heart Atlanta

September 17th, 2010
4:49 pm

terrell

September 17th, 2010
4:56 pm

MC, is Etan healthy? Seen him? talked to him?

theZaZaguy

September 17th, 2010
4:56 pm

If we trade ZaZa then what would I call myself?

Swingman912

September 17th, 2010
4:57 pm

Teague’s quickness , and athleticism should spell trouble for opposing defenses. Those are his strong suits, so if his jumper gets to a point where you have to consistantly defend it, he’ll become dangerous………….CHUUUUUUCH

Najeh Davenpoop

September 17th, 2010
5:23 pm

This is real leadership from Joe Johnson. Boost the young guy’s confidence and put him in a position to take more of a leadership role on the court himself. Nice to see.

I Heart Atlanta

September 17th, 2010
5:31 pm

http://www.rotoworld.com/content/clubhouse_relatednews.aspx?sport=NBA&majteam=ATL
Say’s were leader fo Dampier, Wouldn’t be mad if we signed him, but as a starter……really??

Prison Mike

September 17th, 2010
5:49 pm

Uh yeah Damp will have 13 million wiped off just like that. His agent should be fired if he took just 1.2 million while the hawks should pay 3.5 to 5 million, something respectable.

Zsa Zsa has no trade value, someone please tell what GMs are offering him, even rumors.

Big Ray

September 17th, 2010
6:36 pm

A few things I see from this:

1) …and this might be the most important thing. JJ showing some otherwise not-so-often seen leadership. Him encouraging Crawford last year was a good thing. Him encouraging Teague is also a good thing.

This is what a team captain is supposed to do. He doesn’t have to be loud about it. Sometimes the words whispered in the ear are every bit as effective as the barking on the court. Having said that, Teague may have to learn to bark on the court himself, as the point guard.

Anyway, this is good to see from JJ.

2) JJ seems ready to relinquish some of his role as the lead guard on the court. For those who were concerned about him having the ball taken out of his hands some, under Larry Drew’s scheme, that should quiet your doubts. JJ knows Teague has some attack skills of his own, and that they can be used to his (and JJ’s) advantage. That, my friends, is what you call basketball IQ. JJ knows not getting in the way of what Teague can do will only help him (and the team), and he’s not going to be selfish by demanding the rock be in his hands all the time, as soon as he crosses the half court line.

Besides, you know he’s probably ready to go back to attacking, instead of sizing things up, facilitating/initiating the offense, then attacking. Where did you think all that ball-pounding came from?

3) Teague finally has said he’s going to be aggressive. Good, because nobody on this team can match him in speed. And guess what? Not many around the league can, either. No, he’s not the fastest guy in the league, but he’s one of the fastest we’ve seen on this squad in some time.

When he did show some aggression, he was a blur. The Pistons found that out the hard way a few times. The dude can get a defensive rebound and beat the entire team to the other end of the floor. Yes, he’s that fast. Remember the dunk against Lamar Odom and the Lakers? It happened because of his SPEED, pure and simple.

And don’t let him get a steal at the top of the key. Forget it. You can foul him if you can catch him.

Well, glad to hear that he was working with one of our coaches, and that he realizes what he needs to do to become better defensively. Between working on that and his jumper, he’s on the right path. I don’t expect a world-beater anytime soon. I do expect a guy who will give opposing teams absolute fits for at least 20 mpg, every game, and who won’t hang his head and sulk/mope/hide when he makes a mistake.

And I hope his veteran team captain and teammates don’t let him do that, either.

Get it done, kid. Get it done.

Big Ray

September 17th, 2010
6:37 pm

Najeh ,

My bad. You beat me to it on the leadership convo… :lol:

tjhook

September 17th, 2010
6:49 pm

Jeff Teague in the open court is a sight to see. Don’t know how Drew will use him over the duration of a game.

Big Ray

September 17th, 2010
6:52 pm

Dampier is going to Houston or Miami. Why would the Hawks pursue him? They made their play, signing the great Cheeseburger, then a guy who very well could have retired last year.

If we sign Dampier, the ASG (and Sund) gets a break from me for at least a month and a half. Heh…don’t get yer hopes up…

jason

September 17th, 2010
6:59 pm

I already know jt os goin to be clutch for us. his defensive presence,his good ball-handling skills, and speed, look out here comes a bright knew point guard

Najeh Davenpoop

September 17th, 2010
7:13 pm

“Say’s were leader fo Dampier, Wouldn’t be mad if we signed him, but as a starter……really??”

Rotoworld is a fantasy site. Don’t take their basketball analysis at face value. They probably just see Dampier as a more valuable fantasy commodity than Marvin and assume that he would push Marvin to the bench. I think if the Hawks are actually interested in Dampier, they are going to sign him to supplant Zaza as the first big man off the bench.

Blast

September 17th, 2010
7:15 pm

Good stuff coming out of Hawks camp. Any improvement in Teague’s shooting and aggressiveness would be a major plus.

Welcome to the fold, Pape Sy. Your gamble paid off.

Just want to take a moment to give the Atlanta Dream big time props for the 2010 season. Even though they lost 0-3 to the Storm, the WNBA’s best team, I love the way the Dream hung in there and battled to the end. Making the finals can only add much needed experience to the team. They will learn from it and get better. Of course the refs cheated at every turn, but what’s new? I’m proud of the team. The Atlanta Dream is still going to be the best team in the East next year, and Iziane Castro Marques was the Dream’s finals MVP.

Now let’s see what the Hawks can do.

drmaryb (*_*)

September 17th, 2010
7:39 pm

NorthCyde said this:

“JJ is the go to guy and 3rd team All-NBA player. You definitely don’t take the ball completely out of his hands. But you can lessen the burden on him, by having Teague handle some of the leadership responsibilities.”

You stole the words out of my mouth, in response to the
blogger who said should completely take the ball out of Joe’s
hands.

Never That ! Sir, Never That!

drmaryb (*_*)

September 17th, 2010
8:03 pm

Najeh

I posted the exact same comment yesterday about the
Center rotation with Dampieer:

Al Horford (PF/C)
Eric Dampier (or start)
Zsa Zsa (PF/C)
Etan Thomas (PF/C)

I for one, am NOT satisfied with the current center rotations at all.

Which begs an answer to the question:
Why did we sign Collins so early in the process?

Ken S. replied to me that Collins has a high ball IQ.
With all due respect Ken S., I don’t give a damn about Collin’s
IQ, if he shows up fat and slow to a winning, play-off bound
new ball club! I personally would want to prove myself to the
new guys and show some pride.

I got 3M reasons why the ASKG should nibble at the L. T. to
get Dampieer in here. He is at best comparable to Perkins
of Boston. He should get some rebounds, make some stick backs
and, bother some people. Move Marvin to the bench and Josh
T
To

to the SF against certain teams.

Just do it! Buy Out Collins contract with some of that 3M,
carry 14 and be done with it. I would offer 2 years 12M right
outa’ the gate.

I Heart Atlanta

September 17th, 2010
8:15 pm

I’m a taker

Michael Cunningham

September 17th, 2010
8:34 pm

@UGA: “Which Crawford was in the gym the other day? Jordan or Jamal? Thanks”

Jordan

Michael Cunningham

September 17th, 2010
8:35 pm

@terrell: “MC, is Etan healthy? Seen him? talked to him?”

haven’t seen or talked to him since the day he signed. he’s not in town yet. he said back then his health is fine.

Najeh Davenpoop

September 17th, 2010
8:51 pm

“Ken S. replied to me that Collins has a high ball IQ.
With all due respect Ken S., I don’t give a damn about Collin’s
IQ, if he shows up fat and slow to a winning, play-off bound
new ball club!”

LMAO… Exactly. Basketball IQ don’t mean sh-t when you have no skills and no athleticism. There are plenty of people on this blog who have high basketball IQs, but I don’t want any of us to play center for the Hawks.

I Heart Atlanta

September 17th, 2010
8:51 pm

Ok Lets meet at your moms house, ummm on April Fools

northcyde

September 17th, 2010
9:00 pm

LOL @ drmaryb . . . but . . but . . but Collins wasn’t “used right”, according to Gearon, Jr. Collins’ claim to fame last year, was defending Shaq pretty good on 2 possessions, and drawing a foul against Howard that wasn’t called.

oooooooo

I feel you on our rotation at center. If those are the guys we’re rolling with, ZAZA must show up on a nightly basis.

richbrave

September 17th, 2010
9:01 pm

BRAVES 6 METS 4 top of the seventh, sports fans.

KevinM

September 17th, 2010
9:24 pm

The best chance to improve the perimeter defense is with Teague. I also hope he has been putting up a 1000 jumpers a day as well. He is going to be left open until he proves he’s consistent.
Opponents won’t give him the lane first and foremost; he has to know the ins and outs of this new motion offense.
So Damp is being considered by Sund? Hmm, some people have said its not a factor.
I say he gives us length and he’s better than Zaza, so bring him in.

I still say Bibby is the starter and Teague is this year’s Ty Lawson game tempo changer.

KevinM

September 17th, 2010
9:28 pm

I’m also eager to hear more about Teague’s lil brother as well…..heading to Kentucky after this season in Indianapolis….would like to see how they compare?

cp

September 17th, 2010
10:00 pm

Good post drmaryb . I didn’t like the Collins signing last year and I hated it even more this year. He averages more fouls than rebounds. We had that before with Lo Wright ( r.i.p.) and I don’t want anything similar to that again. Collins doesn’t rebound, cant block shots, shoots a terrible percentage from the field. The only thing he does well is being a nice guy. I don’t care about all that I want a productive big off the bench and he is not it.

cp

September 17th, 2010
10:01 pm

KevinM they are not similar from what Ive seen. They have some good clips of him on youtube you should check out.

N.D.T.K.A

September 17th, 2010
11:42 pm

Now this is what we have been waiting on! Glad to hear J.J. encourage Teague to take over the team and be more aggressive at the point. Teague is going to be the key to the Hawks taking the next step. Quickness and athleticism for this kid is very good.
Dampier is a true center. Not likely he comes to ATL over the Heat. Hawks did wine and dine Damp a few years back before he signed his big deal with Dallas. Damp is not a world beater but would be good for rebounding, put backs,and especially defense. And of course, I will take him because he went to my alma mater Miss. State.

Thanks for the update MC. Any word on what Marvin, Josh, and Al have been doing in the summer to improve their game?

JeJe

September 17th, 2010
11:51 pm

Why do ppl think Horford has not had a physical big to bang against in practice? ZaZa is that big. He’s obviously physical and annoys players. He even injured J’Oneal in that series in 2009 LOL