Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 91, Blazers 82

Teague took it to the Blazers. (AP Photo)

Teague took it to the Blazers. (AP Photo)

The Hawks were desperate for a W and it showed before the game (L.D. bucked his recent trends and started Teague and Zaza); during it (the Hawks were forced to grind for three quarters and did it); and after (a strong sense of relief in the locker room).

  • “I’m just glad we got the win,” said Teague, whose pep was just what a tired and beat down team (and the stagnating offense) needed.
  • “He was absolutely sensational from start to finish on both ends of the floor,” L.D. said. “Defensively he did a great job of picking the ball up and harassing the ball. His speed and his quickness is just something we don’t have. When we put him in games we rely on him to be a nuisance defensively and offensively just to stay in the attack mode.”
  • Teague did both against the Blazers. With Andre Miller no threat to get around him, Teague cut off his space and made it difficult for Miller to initiate Portland’s offense. And there was no one on the floor faster than Teague, who ran circles around the Blazers while batting passes, blocking shots and sometimes running a one-man break through traffic.
  • “Jeff Teague had a great game,” Wesley Matthews said. “He played the passing lane well and was really active and caused some problems for us.”
  • Teague’s 6-0 run at the end of the first quarter gave the Hawks some life and snapped sleepy Philips out of its slumber.
  • “Those possessions at the end of the first quarter changed things,” Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. “It gave them some energy and got them right back in the game.”
  • “Coach told us to get up there and put on the pressure and try to overplay the passing lanes and make something happen,” he said. “I got my hands on a couple of the balls. I got lucky.”
  • Nothing lucky about Teague’s line: 24 points, three assists, five steals, three blocked shots, one turnover, 11/17 FG. He dominated his matchup with Miller, who never could back him down into the post.
  • About the only thing Teague didn’t do well was shoot free throws (1 for 4) or finish on open floaters in the lane.
  • “I am hoping this will be kind of a springboard for him,” Drew said. “It’s been kind of an up-and-down season for him. He’s played some minutes, he’s started a few games, and he’s gone stretches where he hasn’t played. But during that stretch I never stopped believing in that kid because I saw the package that he brings. He can make shots, he’s got speed, he’s got quickness, he can go from end to end. Defensively he can be a nuisance.”
  • Teague couldn’t be blamed if he didn’t always feel the love from Drew but he said his confidence never wavered.
  • “It felt great to get an opportunity to get out here and play, something I’ve wanted to do all year,” Teague said.
  • “It’s important that he keeps believing in himself because I will never lose the belief in him,” Drew said. “I’m committed to him. I know that at times he shows signs of a lack of confidence. For whatever reason, I don’t know, because I recognize the fact that this kid if he’s playing at a level I know he can he can be pretty good and tonight he showed that. I just have to keep being that little birdie on his shoulder and keep letting him know how good he can be for our team.”
  • Just as important as Teague’s spark was the interior defense provided by Josh and Zaza. Aldridge never found much space around the basket.
  • “We did our best with him,” Drew said. “They started making threes so we made a decision particularly in the second half to just play him heads up and I thought both Zaza and Josh Smith did a great job on him. He made some shots but they were contested.”
  • Atlanta’s rebounding got a big boost from Marvin (eight total, six defensive). This was another game where he seemed to be comfortable coming off the bench and focusing on a limited role.
  • Joe still can’t get on track with his shot but his four rebounds in the third quarter were important. Josh also had four and Zaza had three as Hawks rebounded all 12 of Portland’s misses in the third quarter (two were credited to the team).
  • “We were missing shots like crazy,” McMillan said. “We were missing threes last night (at Charlotte) and tonight we were missing shots again. We were missing layups and we just looked drained tonight.”
  • Damien Wilkins made 6 of 9 shots, had two assists and no turnovers in 26 minutes. He doesn’t often force things on offense: “Joe was in foul trouble and so was Jamal. I had to come in and be aggressive and hold the floor down until they got back.”
  • Wilkins is effective defensively when given an assignment that requires more force than finesse.
  • “Damien came in and gave us some really good minutes,” Drew said. “He really played a physical game. He really banged with Roy, who they like to isolate.”
  • The Hawks solved Portland’s zone in the second half, no small thing for this team. Jamal was a big reason why.
  • “We actually went back to our man-to-man offense against the zone which turned out to be pretty good,” Drew said. “We started moving the ball real well and then Jamal started being a little more aggressive. First half I thought he was lethargic. At halftime I called him into my office and told him: ‘I need you to be aggressive, I need you to be in attack mode. Stay off the officials and just play basketball.’”
  • The Hawks had just 18 assists on 40 field goals but a lot of that was because they had 13 field goals and 27 points on the break.
  • “We’re at home,” Teague said. “We’ve got to try to play an uptempo game and get some easy buckets because our shots wasn’t falling lately. Getting some easy run-outs and things like that helped.”
  • The Hawks get Milwaukee next in the game that was postponed by the snowstorm.
  • “Hopefully this will take a little bit of the sting out of what we’ve been going through lately,” Drew said. “It’s going to be a grind every time we step on the floor. We’ve got to be prepared to bring our ‘A’ game every single time. We’ve got to grind it out. I know some guys are banged up, mentally they are fatigued, but guess what: So are 29 other teams. So we have to just step up and respond like other teams do.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

163 comments Add your comment

Rufus1

March 12th, 2011
11:32 pm

doc

March 12th, 2011
11:37 pm

Little Fawkers

March 12th, 2011
11:43 pm

Hey Marvin Williams….. how dat bench feel?

Najeh Davenpoop

March 12th, 2011
11:45 pm

Small lineup: Teague/Kirk/Joe/Smoove/Al, with Damien/Jamal/Zaza/Marvin in that order off the bench
Big lineup: Teague/Joe/Smoove/Al/Collins, with Kirk/Damien/Jamal/Marvin/Zaza in that order off the bench

Clearly Teague plays better with the starters. Clearly Marvin provides more energy as a bench player. Clearly Damien plays consistently well enough to deserve a prominent role. Clearly Teague and Kirk are capable enough at the point guard position to where Jamal should not see a single minute at the point. These are all very easily observable things.

Seriously, if LD buries Teague on the bench again this year, as far as I’m concerned it’s a fireable offense.

Jae Evolution

March 12th, 2011
11:46 pm

If Joe Johnson gets back to his normal 20-25 point self, we can easily get to the second round in the playoffs, this team is good we just don’t always play like we are.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 12th, 2011
11:47 pm

“I am hoping this will be kind of a springboard for him,” Drew said. “It’s been kind of an up-and-down season for him. He’s played some minutes, he’s started a few games, and he’s gone stretches where he hasn’t played. But during that stretch I never stopped believing in that kid because I saw the package that he brings.

This guy acts like he had nothing to do with Teague “going stretches where he hasn’t played”. He talks about “believing in him” like he’s some fan who was hoping he’d play more. Unbelievable.

K.W.

March 12th, 2011
11:47 pm

Nice win for the Hawks.

ATL FAN

March 12th, 2011
11:48 pm

Great game by Teague… doubt he’ll keep it up though…

Najeh Davenpoop

March 12th, 2011
11:50 pm

“The Hawks solved Portland’s zone in the second half, no small thing for this team. Jamal was a big reason why.”

So was Teague for that matter. Normally nobody makes more than a half hearted effort to drive inside against the zone. Yeah, zones will collapse when you try to drive, but that’s when passing lanes open up. Teague attacked the zone on several occasions in that 3rd quarter, and that opened up at least a couple of those shots Jamal hit.

Jae Evolution

March 12th, 2011
11:51 pm

Also the rest of this month, we play Miami, Chicago, and Orlando. We WILL get faced against one of these three in the first round, so it’s important we play smart against these teams.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been relieved about Jamal, but tonight he did a good job of hitting his shots, and not being a terrible liability defensively, Great game by Teague, kid BEASTED! Overall this was a good game.

rusty

March 12th, 2011
11:55 pm

The only thing I can say is ld is a lying idiot.

Buddy Grizzard

March 12th, 2011
11:56 pm

It’s funny that only the emergence of Jeff Teague, a player whose confidence LD has tried to destroy at every opportunity, is the only thing that can save LD’s job.

rusty

March 12th, 2011
11:58 pm

Wheres nortcyde

rusty

March 13th, 2011
12:01 am

I sure hope that jt don’t save LD’s job. To think that we gave jc2 away for nothing. That’s on him too

RED ZONE 1

March 13th, 2011
12:01 am

I’m going on record to be the guy who coined the phrase TEAGUED!!!! Portland was the first team to get TEAGUED. Next the BUCKS, and then the rest of the league!!!! I told everybody, he is the second coming of Rajon Rondo!!!!

Melvin

March 13th, 2011
12:16 am

It’s nice to see one of our bench guys/non rotational player score a career high. Nice game Teague… Keep playing Teague (KTP), LD….

northcyde

March 13th, 2011
12:22 am

I knew I wouldn’t be able to see the game tonight.

Damn . . so I missed the “The Teague Show”.

I’m proud of the kid taking full advantage of his opportunity. I saw the highlights on NBA.com and like the voice over said . . he was BALLIN’.

Coach Drew . . with the way this team is right now, you pretty much have no choice but to play, and even start that kid.

Rusty . . I said earlier in the week that Drew needed to think about starting Zaza and Teague. Not because I thought those two could ball, but to balance the team out. If Horford and Smith are going to insist on playing out on the perimeter, we need some role players who will do the “dirty work”.

If Zaza can do it from a rebounding standpoint, and Teague can do it from a perimeter defense standpoint, that’s all good in my eyes.

Lineup should be . . Teague – JJ – Smith – Horford – Zaza

That way, the reserves can be somewhat balanced too, with Hinrich – Crawford – Damien – Marvin – ( Smith or Horford or JJ/when Marvin or Damien isn’t in the game ).

All I wanted Teague to do, is to make an impact. He made a hell of an impact tonight. Those steals were huge, because he converted almost all of them into points. In essence, that was the point margin in the game.

Art Vandelay

March 13th, 2011
12:23 am

Seeing Jeff playing so well was awesome! I’ve been a big supporter ever since we drafted him. He was great in the ACC… one of the best in the division! I don’t see how he didn’t deserve PT as soon as he got in the league…

I am however sad to see Jordan Crawford playing well for the Wizards. I thought we got a steal when we drafted him, and now he’s put up 22 pts and 16 pts for Washington is back to back games and he was 3rd on the team with 16 shots (even though he missed 1/4 of them).

We could have really used him on our team. Oh well.

northcyde

March 13th, 2011
12:25 am

And I agree that LD is “embellishing the truth” a bit. I won’t call him a flat out liar.

But when you DNP the kid one night, and play him the next ( probably due to pressure from the front office ), you can’t sit there and act like you had confidence that the kid could do this on a nightly basis. If you believed he could, then why in the world wasn’t he playing?

Ironically, since the Bibby trade . . we’re 3 – 0 in games that Teague has started. 3 – 0 or 3 -1 . . can’t remember.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 13th, 2011
12:31 am

It’s 3-1. They lost to the Suns.

HawkEye

March 13th, 2011
12:36 am

LOL. That is the most times i have seen Marvin fall in a game. This guy has on skates. A much needed win nonetheless. Let Teague start from now on.

Christian

March 13th, 2011
12:37 am

Did anyone hear a brief MVP chant for Jeff Teague while at the free throw line?

Najeh Davenpoop

March 13th, 2011
12:50 am

“Did anyone hear a brief MVP chant for Jeff Teague while at the free throw line?”

Yeah, I started it. Glad you heard it.

darrell starks

March 13th, 2011
1:03 am

Najeh Davenpoop i cosign.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

March 13th, 2011
1:07 am

If TEAGUE DONT STARTE EVERY GAME FROM HERE ON OUT LD SHOULD BE FIRED THE NEXT DAY, woody and LD have destroyed players development so much that it’s a crime shame that the GM continue 2 be the one with the finger pointed at, FIRE LD.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

March 13th, 2011
1:11 am

I no billy night made some bad draft choices, but you have 2 wonder with woody and LD stuberness in playing the young guys, on how many careers they have destroyed.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!

Eric

March 13th, 2011
1:16 am

I fell asleep Saturday woke up caught the end of the second quarter and thought I was dreaming. Jeff Teague looked like Isiah Thomas out there on the court. Portland never knew what hit them, Teague was an animal. He had like three one man fast breaks tonight, and he held Andre Miller to only one point. Let’s hope Drew keeps him in the starting lineup, and really hope Teague keeps this up.

Jae Evolution

March 13th, 2011
1:17 am

At first I was hesitant to start Teague at the PG position, I realized this game the kid doesn’t need to run an essential PG, we have a lot of people that can run the offense, but this kid makes scoring easier for everyone, and when he penetrates he converts or dishes it off to a teammate for an easy deuce.

I have high hopes come playoff time, we won’t have a guaranteed advancement this time around, but I expect us, if we can get past the first round we can go far.

Also when the off-season rolls around and we rid ourselves with the end of the bench scrubs and possibly get some solid rotation ‘bigs’ we can do big things next year.

gonzaedger

March 13th, 2011
1:17 am

If you could not find a job for a long time it is time to change your career guys.. The time is now. Be on your way to earning an accredited degree. Check out high speed universities and they sure find suitable career based on yoIf you could not find a job for a long time it is time to change your career guys.. The time is now. Be on your way to earning an accredited degree. Check out high speed universities and they sure find suitable career based on your interests.

darrell starks

March 13th, 2011
1:19 am

What is it with MARVIN, woody starte this guy no matter how bad he plays, and LD does the same, this is unbelievable on how much grape coolaid LD HAVE DRUNK, on thinking this guy is the second coming of the iceman, what a pathetic way of thinking as a coach, it is clear as day that marvin should never starte a basketball game in his career, but yet he continue 2 let him destroy this team at the 3.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paradise Lost

March 13th, 2011
1:25 am

Najeh & northcyde,

It wasn’t only LD’s comment about the believing and the long stretches Teague didn’t play, but also this one “His speed and his quickness is just something we don’t have.” that struck me.

Perhaps LD meant to say “No one else on the roster has his speed and his quickness.”? Or maybe he meant to say “When I give him a DNP-CD, we don’t have his speed and his quickness.”? I mean, if Teague is on the roster and you play him, then yes, LD, we DO have “his speed and his quickness.”

Mike

March 13th, 2011
1:30 am

LD should keep Hinrich at the 2 guard position, I’ve always thought he was a natural 2 not a point. On another note, can someone please wake Joe Johnson up. He looks like he’s taking a stroll in the park out there on the court. The 100 million dollar man is averaging like 11 points lately, let’s start earning some of it Joe!!!

darrell starks

March 13th, 2011
1:30 am

Last night this team was out rebounded,
HAWKS 28 REBOUND BULLS 50

Tonight
HAWKS 40 REBOUND BLAZER 34

This is why you have play your bigs and stop with this smallish lineup,
but LD with his stubberness, and him continue 2 drink marvin grape coolaid IS THE REASON FOR HAWKS FAILURE, HORFORD IS NOT A CENTER FIRE LD.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!

hawks_4_life

March 13th, 2011
1:31 am

GLAD TO SEE HIM GROW A PAIR AND STOP BRINGING THE BALL UP ONLY TO DUMP IT OFF.

darrell starks

March 13th, 2011
1:37 am

STARTER TEAGUE, JOE, JOSH, HORFORD, COLLINS OR HILTON DEPEND ON MATCHUP, like last night hilton should have started because of his quickness 2 contain noah.
BENCH HINRICH, JAMAL, DAMIEN, MARVIN, ZAZA.
RESERVE POWELL, COLLINS.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

March 13th, 2011
1:43 am

HAWKS SUCCESS
1. Never starte marvin again
2. let josh play the 3 he is the best smallforward on the team
3. Never let horford play center again
4. Rotate your big at center COLLINS, ZAZA, HILTON
5. Starte teague every game and rotate him and hinrich at point
6. Defense is the bread and butter
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!

TheAntiMe

March 13th, 2011
1:48 am

“I never stopped believing in that kid (Jeff Teague) because I saw the package that he brings” – Larry Drew

Well you sure could have fooled me, LD. It looks to me like you just make these comments up as you go along regardless of what your past history has shown. Do you think that no one has paid any attention to your coaching proclivities for this entire season? Incredible.

hawks_4_life

March 13th, 2011
1:57 am

Wilkins should be the first one off the bench instead of jamal. Ill take his defense any day over a shaky streaky J. JJ earn your check.

Paradise Lost

March 13th, 2011
3:01 am

Watching Game Time and listening to Dennis Scott and Kendall Gill call out JJ on his [lack of] leadership. Kendall: “He is the quiestest $120 million man I’ve ever seen.”

superiorblogman

March 13th, 2011
3:27 am

Teague is the “King of the South” for a day. If he can average 15 pts 5 assists, 3rebs, and 2 steals for the rest of the season he will overtake Al as my favorite Hawk. He can do it if he gets 30+ minutes a game from here on out.

Paradise Lost

March 13th, 2011
3:51 am

“quietest” … I am way too reliant on spellcheck!

Najeh Davenpoop

March 13th, 2011
3:22 am

One thing I noticed in this game (and a lot of other recent games) — a big reason Jamal gives up so much on the defensive end is that he insists on doubling down when the other team has the ball in the post, leaving his man open and recovering too slowly to challenge the shot. The rest of the Hawks are good enough at man to man defense that Jamal really doesn’t accomplish much by showing the double team, and it almost always leads to a defensive breakdown and/or an open 3 for the other team. The worst part about this is that it isn’t even necessary. Jamal, stick to your man, since you have a hard enough time doing that.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

March 13th, 2011
3:53 am

@ paradise lost, wow. I have got to check out that interview glad somebody is calling Mr. Big Shot out. Drew is not a good politician or coach. Imagine how much better we’d be as a team had LD started Teague from opening day. He costed us Jordan Crawford with his sorry self. STOP LYING to your self and Hawk Nation brah.

Big Daddy

March 13th, 2011
5:27 am

This was, hopefully, the breakout game for JT. Last year, he had a game like this against Cleveland at the end of the season. There was a lot of talk that since they didn’t play many of their starters, it was bogus. This was a game where Teague played against Andre Miller and Brandon Roy and still had a monster game. Keep it going Jeff and don’t be shy and give the ball up to Jamal coming up the court like you have in the past. Run the team.

LD, one of the early tenets I learned in life was “hear what someone says, watch what they do”. You have made these comments about having confidence in this kid but I see all of these DNP’s or 2 – 5 minutes by his name for minutes played. That, to me, does not indicated confidence in someone. Does he get yanked again if he has a bad game? I don’t know how you can justify starting Marvin and benching Jeff. Wouldn’t we all like to mark this day on our calendars as the game we saw the emergence of our long wished for and much needed point guard? Go Hawks!!!!

Rev in Tampa

March 13th, 2011
5:43 am

@Hawks Fan In New Orleans,

I agree. When Jordan Crawford grows into his potential I am going to be furious at LD. It is on him, and him alone, that we traded Crawford away. Had he even given an effort at developing Teague Sund might not have felt the need to give away so much to move Bibby’s sorry contract and bring in an established point guard.

Big Daddy

March 13th, 2011
5:48 am

Also, kudos to Smoove. He was 4 assist from a triple double.

tony

March 13th, 2011
6:16 am

I think LD hurt this team alot by not recognizing Teague’s abilities(penetrate, steal, shoot, dunk and quickness). He’s not a good assist pg but in LD’s motion offense he doesn’t need to be. Keeping him on the bench caused us 2 first round picks and maybe some games in the lost column.

Having Teague in the starting lineup will force JS to stay closer to the basket and minimize JJ over dribbling. Teams around the league will not like the idea of trying to guard JT. If he doesn’t remain the starter, LD should be FIRED!

The Game Has Changed

March 13th, 2011
6:44 am

@Tony-What if Teague goes back to being his old self. Should LD bench him or just let him play?

The Game Has Changed

March 13th, 2011
6:53 am

@ParadiseLost-Maybe Joe shouldnt be paid 20 million a year but do you hear the Bucks crying about Micheal Redd making 18 million a year and hasnt played in two years. So if he can make 18 and dont play I think Joe can make 20 and lead us to the playoffs year after year.

sam'l

March 13th, 2011
7:03 am

I’ll believe Teague when he has a couple more good games…..remember, he has been consistently “not so good” for a couple of years……..you gonna trust Teague in the playoffs? You may have to.