Chicago–Teague 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.”
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat