Atlanta Hawks at Bulls Game 1: Ready or not it’s Teague’s Time

ChicagoTeague is the starter at point guard for Game 1.

“I’ve always had faith in this kid,” L.D. said today at shootaround at the United Center.

Teague joins the “regular” lineup with J.J., Marvin, Josh and Al.

It’s a tough situation for Teague. He’s suddenly elevated from part-time rotation guy to checking D-Rose on the road in the playoffs.

“I expect him to go out and be Jeff Teague,” Drew said. “He brings a unique package with his speed, his quickness, his ability to get into the paint. He’s a solid defensive player. I don’t care who put on Rose no one guy can stop him. It’s got to be total team effort.”

There is perhaps no more volatile subject among by blog people than Jeff Teague. The drama is no doubt influenced by the emotional subtext of Hawks’ fans futile and frustrating wait for a bona fide point guard.

Some of Teague’s fans have elevated him to near-mythical status. They seize on his good moments as proof of his untapped potential and cite L.D.’s lack of patience and trust to explain away the bad moments. This group reacts angrily to criticisms of Teague.

If Teague’s detractors acknowledge his good moments at all, they ask why there are not more of them. His poor performances are proof of his limited potential. Teague’s critics tell those in the first group to stop deluding themselves.

I’m exaggerating a bit in both cases but you get my point.

I’m still not sure about Teague. I’ve just always thought he deserves more burn because of his production and potential, the team’s weaknesses and the need for the Hawks to figure out if he’s their point guard going forward.

You’d like to say this is when we can finally find out about Teague but what would it really settle if he can’t get it done in this series?

If you like Teague now and he bombs, you can say he hasn’t been properly developed and shouldn’t be judged under these circumstances. If you’ve been skeptical he’s a player, a poor showing would be just another reason to believe the same. (Of course Teague also could play well and then all of my blog people would be happy.)

This is the hand Teague has been dealt. He faces a sizable deficit in talent and experience against D-Rose. There isn’t much in the way of past performance to make any prediction of how it will go: Teague was on the court with Rose for just 13 minutes during the three regular-season games.

“He’s guarded him before,” L.D. said. “This is not anything out of the ordinary. He has guarded some tough guys.”

The Hawks have focused much of their defensive preparation on pick-and-roll coverages. But D-Rose is a strong iso player, too, so there will be times when a Hawks defender must find some way to prevent Rose from getting to the basket.

“We are asking a lot for the guys that are guarding him to contain him,” Al said. “Obviously we are going to be there to help but the guy that is on the ball has to try to do the best job to keep Rose in front of him.”

More often than not, that guy is going to be Jeff Teague.

“He’s been in situations before where he hasn’t played much, and he has stepped in and answered the call,” Drew said. “I’m expecting the same thing.”

Notes

  • Boozer says he’s going to try to play.
  • Hinrich is here. The Hawks are picking his brain. “That’s why he’s on the trip,” L.D. said. “He can probably do Jeff a lot of good. Stay in his ear about defending Rose.”
  • Hinrich on Teague: “I think Jeff can really play. I think it’s just a matter of him getting an opportunity. I think he will be good.”
  • Will Hinrich be in Teague’s ear? “I kind of just want to leave him alone. If there is something along the course of the game that I think he can help him with, I will try to do that. Right now I will just leave him alone. The coaching staff does a good job making sure guys are prepared. I’m sure he’s excited.”
  • Hinrich was propped up on the trainer’s table with a contraption that iced nearly his entire leg. “Hopefully at some point it will get to where I can test it out and see where it’s at,” he said. That doesn’t seem like he’s close to returning to vigorous activity, but Hinrich isn’t ruling out playing in the series: “You never know.”
  • Hinrich said he suffered the injury before contact: “As soon as I went up I felt a pop. It started swelling. I didn’t know if it was the hamstring. Initially I was concerned it was my knee.”
  • J.J. on the second round: “We want to come out and make a different impression this year. I think the attention to detail is there and everybody is focused.”
  • Al on the same: “In the past when we got to the second round we’ve been physically fatigued as a team. We are fresher as a team. We feel more confident.”
  • Al on playing against Noah: “It’s weird, man.”
  • Al on teaming with Noah at Florida: “He can make others around him play even harder and push them and motivate them. He’s the kind of guy who brings that energy and has that edge to his game. I think he really makes people around him better. I think he goes under the radar a lot with his game.”
  • J.J. on the Bulls: “We know it’s going to be a fight this series. We have got to come out and do the little things like win the hustle plays, keep these guys off the glass.”
  • L.D. on Smoove’s declaration that it’s all about D: “I agree with that wholeheartedly. But offensively, the last time we came here regular season played really, really well for a half. We came out for the second half and it was our offense that absolutely killed us. Bad offense is just as a good as a turnover. If you don’t get good shots and force that team to work and you start hoisting up crazy shots, it is just as bad as a turnover.”
  • L.D. on rebounding: “Our bigs are going to have their hands full keep their guys off the glass. Our guards have to come in and be out secondary rebounding force. We have got to win the rebounding game. We’ve got to make sure we attack the glass and come up with all the loose balls. We can’t start heading back down until we secure that basketball.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

1,164 comments Add your comment

northcyde

May 2nd, 2011
2:22 pm

(( clapping )) . . . at least LD made the sensible move here. Start Teague, and keep Jamal in his 6th man role.

Man up Jeff . . give us solid minutes tonight, especially on defense.

JeJe

May 2nd, 2011
2:27 pm

FIRE LD

HIRE CLYDE

JeJe

May 2nd, 2011
2:27 pm

Cosign Northcyde

We need Van Exel to keep Teague MAD tonight. That’s his goal with the team – to make sure Teague is fired up.

Teague should have really fresh legs too

JeJe

May 2nd, 2011
2:28 pm

LOL LD said a few months ago he knew Teague would have a role with the team. Now he says he’s always been confident in him. I’m pretty sure 2 months ago LD had no plan of ever having Teague as the main PG.

Idiot coach

northcyde

May 2nd, 2011
2:30 pm

LD does need to stop lying about Teague though.

If you have confidence in a player, you play that player. You don’t let him accumulate DNPs by the boatloads. Drew, if you didn’t think he was ready, just say so. But don’t keep telling that lie that “you always had faith in this kid.” No you didn’t.

Wow . . Bin Laden is dead ( supposedly ), and Teague starts for the Hawks. What’s next? They gonna find Tupac alive somewhere in the Bahamas?

JeJe

May 2nd, 2011
2:32 pm

Is it the Hawks’ mentality this year that they want to win the series, or that they do not want to get swept?

The name of the main article now is “Players insist they won’t be swept out of Eastern Conference semifinals for third straight season.”

That doesn’t tell me these guys want to win the series

JeJe

May 2nd, 2011
2:34 pm

I’ll never forget the game at Utah in which Bibby was left in the game to guard Utah’s backup Ronnie Price. Teague played 2:45 that game. We won by 23

SMDH

FIRE LD

Sleepy

May 2nd, 2011
2:34 pm

blow out city and Im a eternal optimist …………

ant banks

May 2nd, 2011
2:37 pm

teague GOTTA have one of those games when he goes into THAT zone. do y’all remember when d’antoni was HATIN’ nate robinson? he put nate in the game against the hawks and nate SCORCHED us for 40pts!!! teague gotta go the eff off!!!

GILBERT RENFRO, JASON GARRETT to name a few, are some guys who star shined brightly, when called upon and they became legends.

this ish is all on teague. the bloggosphere already loves and supports teague. all he needs to do is have one of those games and become endeared in all our hearts.

Barton

May 2nd, 2011
2:41 pm

Does Marvin have smaller than usual hands?

Geemack

May 2nd, 2011
2:44 pm

MC

Do you get the sense that the players feel they can win this series. or do they seem to just want to have a good showing?

What’s the mood of the team?

Jerry West

May 2nd, 2011
2:50 pm

“He can make others around him play even harder and push them and motivate them. He’s the kind of guy who brings that energy and has that edge to his game. I think he really makes people around him better.”

where can we get one of those?

Geemack

May 2nd, 2011
2:52 pm

Enter your comments here

[...] out the following links for more details on the match-ups: – Hawks.com Scouting Report – Michael Cunningham’s Blog on AJC.com – Change in Priorities from NBA.com – Hawks Turn to Teague from the Chicago Tribune – [...]

sportsgrinder

May 2nd, 2011
2:53 pm

Jeff Teague has a chance to silence the critics in this series, he should be up for the challenge. Check out our detailed analysis of the series:

http://sports-glutton.com/2011/05/01/hawks-vs-bulls-series-preview/

JeJe

May 2nd, 2011
2:54 pm

MC,

Is it the Hawks’ mentality this year that they want to win the series, or that they do not want to get swept?

The name of the main article now is “Players insist they won’t be swept out of Eastern Conference semifinals for third straight season.”

That doesn’t tell me these guys want to win the series

northcyde

May 2nd, 2011
2:55 pm

Teague just needs to be solid. He doesn’t need to score a lot of points. Just give us timely offense, along with everything he has on defense. Deflect some passes. Get a steal or two. Since he has a knock for running down people and blocking shots, maybe give us one of those plays too.

If Teague plays 16 minutes . . and gives us 7 points – 3 assists – 2 rebounds – 1 steal – 1 blk . . and keeps Rose from going completely off while he’s in the game . . that’s all we can ask for.

No one should expect this kid to score 10+ points in any game this series. If he does that, that’s like ice cream and cake. But those types of expectations should not be placed on him like that.

Just play your role Teague. And if you play well, hopefully your coach will reward you with extended minutes, especially if Jamal is struggling at PG.

Drow

May 2nd, 2011
2:56 pm

I think Jeff will do well in this series. He needs to pull rose to one side of the floor and trap him to get the ball out of his hands. On offensive Teague is just as fast or fast than Rose, Jeff control the tempo and push when needed, use all the non-believers/sports commentators words as motivation tools.

Al

May 2nd, 2011
2:57 pm

Teague will be our hero for this series. I hate saying it but Kirk had to get injured for us to have a chance in this series. Kirk played good d on rose the first time we played them but then got torched the last two. Teague, if anyone remembers, scored about twenty points in the fourth quarter of a game against the bulls which is impressive even against their bench.

Teague has the capabilities and speed to give us a chance.

GO TEAGUE!!!!!!!!

JeJe

May 2nd, 2011
3:03 pm

VAN EXEL,

PLEASE MAKE TEAGUE MAD. THAT’S WHAT WE NEED

FIRE LD

JeJe

May 2nd, 2011
3:04 pm

JUST NEED TO MAKE SURE TEAGUE DOESN’T GET SOME BS EARLY FOULS.

NO RONDO ISH WE SAW YESTERDAY. DUDE GOT 3 FOULS IN 13 MINUTES WHILE COVERING BIBBY. DUMB FOULS

darrell starks

May 2nd, 2011
3:08 pm

GO TEAGUE, BUT WHY COLLINS NOT STARTING IS ABSURD, this is why LD should be fire he always failed 2 reconize his advantage, he should have learn from the last series that marvin plays better coming of the bench not starting, plus your defense is better on the boards when collins starte now watch how bulls dominate the paint, coach LD is clueless.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sam

May 2nd, 2011
3:10 pm

LET’S GO JEFF TEAGUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

darrell starks

May 2nd, 2011
3:12 pm

Now he go back to the orginal line up with JOE, MARVIN, JOSH, HORFORD, this is crazy why not stick with the big line up with teague starting, only make sense, plus marvin make the bench deeper, he should always rotate his true big man with COLLINS, ZAZA, and keep horford at his natural position.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!

SteveW

May 2nd, 2011
3:14 pm

Teague is alot fresher than most anybody on either side that is going to play alot. DRose is banged up, and Teague is fresh. Teague has potential, don’t let anybody fool you. He could do anything from equal DRose tonite because he’s healthy and fresher, to completely bomb.

I think he will probably play a little, LD will get nervous and pull him, and he’ll probably rarely see the court again for over 2-3 minutes at the time.

Jamal will get destroyed at the Point, and LD will blame it on a lack of hard fouls on the interior.

And that will be that.

SteveW

May 2nd, 2011
3:15 pm

Rondo under Doc Rivers – All Star

Rondo under Larry Drew – D League

Sometimes it’s all about the coaching.

tyger

May 2nd, 2011
3:19 pm

Hawks in 7, here’s why?

1. LD will devise a D to neutralize Rose. I suggest a zone blitz.
2. Hawks mentally/physically/spiritually tougher after Magic series.
3. Individual matchups are pretty even overall.
4. JJ’s playing better, his domination of Korver/Brewer is key.
5. Teague contributes after watching Rocky I, II, III, IV.
6. Damian ain’t scared to throw ‘dem bows.
7. Smoove/Deng is a good matchup, younger legs prevail in 7.
8. Horford has Noah’s number.
9. Big lineup will neutralize Noah, Thomas, Boozer.
10. Watson scares me.

northcyde

May 2nd, 2011
3:24 pm

Darrell . . Collins shouldn’t even play this series. The matchup and focus are different. The Bulls aren’t going to toss the ball down to Noah to let him work on Collins. And Noah is way too active, fast, and athletic for Collins.

When the Hawks won the only game vs the Bulls, it was all due to the work and rebounding that Horford was doing while mainly playing center.

What we need, is for Horford and Smith to collectively get 20+ rebounds a game. Jason Collins has never kept active bigs off of the boards.

northcyde

May 2nd, 2011
3:26 pm

PF may be Horford’s natural position, but he plays better at center. He couldn’t even take Brandon Bass last series and shot well below his season averages while playing PF. He’s played against Noah for dang near 7 years in practice at Florida and in the NBA. He can go on Noah.

Horford and Smith just can’t be afraid to mix it up. Look for one of them to really come up big in this series.

drmaryb (*_-)

May 2nd, 2011
3:37 pm

Hero Ball!

One thing we don’t need is: hero ball!
Let’s play together and help on the glass and defense.
Sounds like Mr. Larry “Flexible” Drew is pulling out Mr. Woodson’s
philosophy of “gang rebounding”.

Last season we were among the top 4 teams in rebounding in the rgular season. Let’s get back to some old habits and stick the guards and wings in there on the boards. Josh was the lead dog on cleaning the glass, so, let’s do it again.

Play that Lenny Wilkens “swarming defense”. I haven’t seen that since the old fella left. I will repeat and NEVER forget Pippen’s comments back in the day after he and MJ getting run out of The Omni one night,

Scottie said, “They were everywhere, swarming, we couldn’t put the ball on the floor and we couldn’t make a play with any dribble penetration!”

________________

That, my fellas does not require any skills, just effort, heart and desire.

Just Do It! I don’t give a rat’s tail about the offense. As long as we score one point more than them? I’ll take 45 – 44. If we come out aggressive on defense, the referees will adjust and swallow some whistles.

Winning teams don’t run in the playoffs, it will be a half-court contest for all the Teague is fast sayers. I say don’t let Rose run either.
Trap his azz with 3 defenders in the back court! He will turn it over more times than not. You only get 8 seconds to cross half court.
Make somebody else beat you. Don’t come out, stand around and watch Rose play basketball. It’s just basketball, not world-peace!

drmaryb (*_-)

May 2nd, 2011
3:43 pm

* after he and MJ WERE getting run …

bfred

May 2nd, 2011
3:46 pm

…and THIS, coach Drew, is why you give the guy meaningful minutes during the regular season. If you’re a playoff team it’s not just about developing your PG of the future – it’s making sure you’re ready when your starter goes down. Now we’re stuck hoping but not knowing that Teague can do the job.

MannyT

May 2nd, 2011
3:51 pm

LD has more confidence in Teague than Woody did. Did he develop that confidence enough during the regular season, probably not. Well, it’s Tom Brady time for Teague. He doesn’t have to worry about Bibby or Hinrich taking his minutes. Either the young fella makes a name for himself or he has to hear the Denny Green echoes of they are who we thought they are

I think LD has a trick or two up his sleeve…Damien Wilkins has some fouls to give if needed. You can play small against the Bulls…especially if Boozer is playing hurt.

Let’s go Hawks!

terrell

May 2nd, 2011
3:53 pm

When will LD realize that the “regular lineup stinks? Are u kidding me? If it aint broke, dont fix it. STAY BIG.
Shoula been Teague/Joe/Josh/Al/Zaza or Collins. And Teague will get pulled for Jamal after 5 min or so, and wont be heard from again. That’s the LD way.
Go out there and do your thing Jeff. Give this clown a reason to leave you on the floor. Make a mistake and it’s all over. AND YOU KNOW THIS MAN!

terrell

May 2nd, 2011
3:53 pm

Marvin should be coming off the bench.

superiorblogman

May 2nd, 2011
3:53 pm

Marvin Williams is not a starter in the NBA he has proved that over and over again. Zaza actually had his best production as a starter for the Hawks. The starting lineup should be:

Teague
Joe
Josh
Al
Zaza

Don’t blame it on Teague but the Hawks will be down atleast 8 by the 6 minute mark in the 1st.

SteveW

May 2nd, 2011
3:54 pm

Northcyde – Agree 100% about Al at the C and Collins this series.

Collins is a situational guy at this point in his career. Al is an All Star C.

Al can’t even look good against Ryan Anderson and Brandon Bass. He’s not an All Star PF.

terrell

May 2nd, 2011
3:58 pm

LMFAO @ LD talking bout having faith in the kid”. Teague would be an after thought if Kirk was healthy. Please! And Jeff is a grown ass man. Stop calling him kid for crying out loud. 1st it was “rook”, not it’s the “kid”. Jesus!

SteveW

May 2nd, 2011
4:02 pm

When Noah went 9th in the draft and we picked Acie at no. 11, it sure would have been nice to pull off a trade to move up and get Noah. I’d like him on our team about now.

initial J

May 2nd, 2011
4:02 pm

The prodigal son returns to his home to save the Hawks from impending playoff doom. An untimely injury to his predecessor will allow him to take his rightful place. As it was written the prophecy has come true.

Save us Jeff Teague. You are our only hope!!!

SteveW

May 2nd, 2011
4:06 pm

We still have a solid 8 man rotation. ZaZa, Jamal, and Wilkens off the pine = Solid.

And you can win in the NBA with an 8 man rotation = 30 minutes per player

A 7 man rotation, and your getting in trouble = 34+ minutes per guy.

And I know some guys will get 40 and some 20

Wink

May 2nd, 2011
4:15 pm

Teague time was during the regular season. Now it’s just an experiment, with major reprocussions & consequencies. LD should have found out wha this kid could do during the regular season; a time he could coach him up, build his confidence and identify his real skill sets, that would help win games.

He should know what Teague could offer. Maybe he can’t slow Rose down, would not really be surprised by that at this point. But maybe by now his end to end speed would surprise Rose & wear him down, maybe that little floater would actually have chance to go in at this point in the season vs every attempt is a pray. Take the rookie Revis Vazquez with Memphis, Conley picked up early fouls and he kept the pedal to the medal against the Spurs & Toney Parker. Coach Hollins gave a 6′5″ rookie a shot because he had seen the kids game grow…. Teague?????

Now LD wants to hand out fake platitudes: “I expect him to go out and be Jeff Teague,” Drew said. “He brings a unique package with his speed, his quickness, his ability to get into the paint. He’s a solid defensive player. I don’t care who put on Rose no one guy can stop him. It’s got to be total team effort.”

He had those assets when he left Wake, speed, quickness, defense & ability. How have they been used on the NBA level? I am not advocating Teague as the answer, nor is Hinrich, I am just saying the sample size is low & we don’t know what his real strengths are after 2 NBA seasons.

We are in the 2nd round, against the bulls with best record in NBA & Rose MVP at point & you want to go to the LAB and EXPERIMENT, but in the first round he gets a couple of DNP’s against Jameer Nelson!!

LD expects him to be Jeff Teague…..what, exactly is that???

Grandad

May 2nd, 2011
4:17 pm

This is Teague’s chance / No Excuses !

If he’s a player, a real basketball player, then…..
he will perform, he will show his mettle.
If he shrinks away from the glare of the Big Stage…..
then we will know, that he does not possess the right stuff.

In life, one only gets rare opportunities, This is his.
Those of us who wish him success, cannot belly-ache…..
saying he had lost his confidence, wasn’t prepared,
had not played enough, or whatever ? ? ?
Because, Now it’s purely up to him. This is his moment.

There are many who would cherish one [just one] Chance !
Knowing in their minds, they would make the most, if given.

Young Teaguer, We’re pullin’ for you.
Go for it !

Just do it ! ! !

MannyT

May 2nd, 2011
4:18 pm

@SteveW – We wouldn’t get Horford & Noah. BK would have been run out of town if he didn’t try to get a PG AND a C in that draft. If he got 2 bigs, he would have never heard the end of it. Remember, this was after the Marvin draft & before we got Bibby. The T. Lue + Royal Ivey (5 minute starter) experiment wasn’t working.

With the 3rd pick, we got whoever we wanted (except Oden & Durant.) The other pick was to fill the other slot. I do wonder if BK would have been fired that summer if he had the 2nd pick. Marvin was supposed to be close to Durant. Could BK have gotten away with picking yet another SF with wingspan?

Easy to say a few years after the draft, but much tougher at the moment.

Astro Joe

May 2nd, 2011
4:26 pm

I heard someone say a few months ago that the worse injuries are non-contact injuries. Hinrich says that he was hurt before he landed… a non-contact injury. Sounds like Speedy will play against the Bulls before Hinrich. That’s oaky, we have Pape Sy to come and and do his Mario West imitation.

Teague may very well get the old Jason Collins treatment… plays the first 8-9 minutes of each half and then sits comfortably on the bench. Ultimately, rebounding will decide how well the Hawks play in this series… rebounding and keeping the Bulls from scoring 60+ points in the paint.

Trojan

May 2nd, 2011
4:28 pm

I wonder if LD will not wish that the word “develop” should have crossed his mind during the year.

He never plays Teague except when forced and then he acts like he is Teague’s best friend.

Slimjr

May 2nd, 2011
4:30 pm

Its time for Allstar Al to play like an Allstar instead of a sub…………………………..

Slimjr

May 2nd, 2011
4:31 pm

Teague will be alright..We need these freaking bigs to man up for a change………….

Trojan

May 2nd, 2011
4:31 pm

Granddad: I agree but I believe that your logic is too severe. There is not a starter on our team (except for Hortford) that has not shrunk and hid big time during a critical game. I expect Teague to have just as good of game as Larry Drew.

ag

May 2nd, 2011
4:34 pm

I am the biggest Teague fan and I will not blame LD if he does not do well. Myself NC and others have said all along, START JEFF TEAGUE. It is his opportunity to seize his moment. If he plays 40 minutes, the Hawks will win. I predict the Hawks will win the series and they will win tonight.