Atlanta Hawks: Drew says Teague still the starter once Hinrich returns

MilwaukeeKirk Hinrich says he will practice tomorrow in San Antonio. If all goes well, he plans to play Wednesday at the Spurs.

“I’m excited,” he said. “It’s just a matter of how sore it will be the next day [after practice].”

Once Hinrich is activated, the Hawks will have to make a roster move. The candidates to be released are Ivan Johnson, Donald Sloan, Jannero Pargo and Jerry Stackhouse. Chances are it won’t be Ivan so probably one of the guards will go.

Larry Drew said the plan is to “work [Hinrich] back in slow” as he gets his wind back and becomes accustomed to banging around again. And . . . (drum roll) Hinrich will come off the bench and Jeff Teague will remain the starting point guard.

“At this point, I am going to stay with that I have,” Drew said. “Jeff has shown that he deserves it. He has done a really good job for us. As of right now, I am just going to keep it as is.”

Now I know some of my blog people are going to seize on “as of right now” and cite it as proof of a conspiracy in which Drew will reduce Teague’s role even if he’s playing well. There was a similar uproar when Drew said way back when that he hadn’t decided if Hinrich would start when he returned. (Personally, I thought Drew sidestepped that question because he didn’t want to say Hinrich would be a reserve until he had to, not because he wanted to trap door Teague.)

When Teague had a couple bad games around the time of Drew’s comments, some fans connected the dots. For what it’s worth, I don’t know that Teague even saw Drew’s comments. I will let you in on a secret and tell you these guys tend not to read anything everything I write. Yeah, I know: I can’t believe it, either. How could they not eat this stuff up?

But if Teague did see Drew’s comments and that’s the reason he suddenly got passive, are you cool with that? Are we now to the point where each time Teague has a bad game, it’s Drew’s fault because he didn’t say enough nice things about him? Do you think because Teague got a raw deal in the past, he should get a pass any poor performances now?

I understand the anxiety among fans because of the history of Hawks point guards in general and specifically Drew’s mystifying reluctance to give Teague a larger role last season. I know there is still bitterness among my blog people that Teague only really got his chance because Hinrich went down, and so you are sensitive to any sign that Drew might send Teague back to the end of the rotation.

But now don’t go the completely the other way and say Teague is beyond reproach and Drew should make a point of praising him or go out of his way to avoid criticizing him. Teague is a pro. He has to earn his keep, which he’s doing quite nicely. He doesn’t need to be coddled.

Now, having said that, Teague does often cite the confidence he got from coaches and teammates as key to his break out against the Bulls last spring and his strong start this season. He also said he delivered against Chicago because there were no other options. It was all on him.

So, with that in mind, is Drew concerned that Teague may start looking over his shoulder once Hinrich is available?

“I don’t worry about it,” Drew said. “Maybe that is something I need to talk to him about. But that shouldn’t be a concern. We are all trying to have a common goal and that is the success of this team. I don’t think you should be concerned about your teammate. If you are going to be concerned, be concerned about the guy you are going against, you know what I’m saying? That makes more sense.

“Both guys are going to be playing substantial minutes. Whether one starts or one doesn’t, that shouldn’t be a real concern. Whether you are a starter or come off the bench your role doesn’t change at that position. Both guys have to run the club.”

Drew said he also would consider eventually using a lineup with Hinrich at shooting guard and Joe Johnson at small forward.

“I am going to look at all my possibilities,” he said. “But for right now I am going to stick with what works.”

Notes

  • The Hawks aren’t enamored with the available free-agent centers and their trade options are limited. Look for them to make a run at Kenyon Martin when FIBA releases him from his Chinese contract once the Xinjiang Flying Tigers wrap up their season late next month. Martin is undersized and not much of a shooter but he’s a good defender and finishes strongly around the basket.
  • Al Horford says “Maybe” to future as players union rep.
  • The Hawks say they will travel about 10,500 miles on this trip. The AJC will not. The higher-ups decided that neither I nor Chris Vivlamore will be in San Antonio or Toronto. As of right now (see what I did there?), the AJC will staff all other Hawks road games.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

107 comments Add your comment

Runner-

January 23rd, 2012
3:39 pm

Good to hear, now all we need to do is release Sloan and make a trade involving Hinrich to acquire a big man and we’ll be good to go

Bigman needed

January 23rd, 2012
3:44 pm

MC: what are the chances of bringing in a real center in here like okafor?

Rufus1

January 23rd, 2012
3:47 pm

I will wait for Kmart…

Astro Joe

January 23rd, 2012
3:50 pm

But if Teague did see Drew’s comments and that’s the reason he suddenly got passive, are you cool with that? Are we now to the point where each time Teague has a bad game, it’s Drew’s fault because he didn’t say enough nice things about him? Do you think because Teague got a raw deal in the past, he should get a pass any poor performances now?

Yes, that is EXACTLY what many seem to believe. And they also probably think that any improvement in Teague’s game happens irrespective of what LD or his staff do with/for Teague. If he gets better at any point in this future, it will happen because he made it happen, not because of the coaches that are there to work with him.

Marcus

January 23rd, 2012
3:51 pm

MC,
Toronto is nice, but don’t sweat missing it in January :D

Yeah, the FA centers are *shaky*

IN hindsight, is the 76es game the first real game we missed Horford (either offensive points or intangibles)?

Debate is whether Heinrich is more valuable as trade bait or a cagey vet come playoff time.

ILL-Logical

January 23rd, 2012
3:55 pm

ILL-Logical

January 23rd, 2012
3:02 pm
I wonder if being the head coach of the Hawks is like being a first grade teacher:
Joey, please share with your classmates. Marvin,How many times do I have to tell to get up off the floor; Yes,Alan, I like the apple but would you please stop complaining about your seat. And,Josh, you do know that you will get more from your classmates with honey than with vinegar

Boom Dizzle

January 23rd, 2012
3:56 pm

MC: How realistic is the possibility of K-Mart coming here? That would be close to perfect for this team….

Hinrich coming back as the 2nd unit PG makes this team quite a bit better….

i_am_soulstar

January 23rd, 2012
3:57 pm

making a run at K-Mart huh? I like that.

Astro Joe

January 23rd, 2012
3:58 pm

Kenyon would be interesting. He could certainly bring some toughness to the center position regardless of his height. Between Kenyon & Ivan, we could potentially lose the choir boy image.

Boom Dizzle

January 23rd, 2012
4:00 pm

@Astro Joe — Its about time that happened. Enough with the choir boys, and bring some real toughness/ruggedness in here…

Astro Joe

January 23rd, 2012
4:00 pm

Aytunstoppable

January 23rd, 2012
4:05 pm

Man it’s been awhile since I posted a comment to your blog MC. I read all of them I’m just not a comment person (other words i just never comment because i’m lazy lol jk). Anyway I’m glad he came out and said it that really all i can say. I’m loving the play we are getting right now. Can’t wait til the playoffs. When we have Al back we willa tleast get to 7 games in the second round if not make it to the conference finals. If they are this good without Al right now then are even better with him. If it wasn’t for him being hurt, everytime me and my friends talk NBA i’d be shoving down their throat the hawks are, at the least, a de-facto contender to atleast make it to the ECF.

Ra'mon

January 23rd, 2012
4:06 pm

Rufus1

January 23rd, 2012
4:06 pm

I think the Hawks have a real shot at Kmart…

He would have the chance to start in ATL and go to the playoffs…

Rufus1

January 23rd, 2012
4:09 pm

“The Hawks aren’t enamored with the available free-agent centers and their trade options are limited. Look for them to make a run at Kenyon Martin”- MC

Are those your thoughts or Sund/LD?

drmaryb.[*_*].

January 23rd, 2012
4:13 pm

Daddy’s Home!

Welcome Back MC! Glad you’re feeling better and back in the saddle. Chris was nice with all the ajc articles but, you were sorely missed! Mwwwwah!!!
__________

Drew coaching for his Supper now, Teague is the TRUTH!
__________

FTPB I couldn’t get this in:

Emilio Estevez!

“dmb, estaban bautista put a hurt on jj causing a deep bleeding contusion so great in his calf he was done for the season and had a long recuperation. they probably followed him closely for a compartment syndrome after that one.” -doc-
____________

doc wassup boy? Yeah man, Lenny got Esteban outa’ Hawkville – with the quickness! While he still had some healthy players. Remember Roshown McCloud? That soft Dukie!

doc! We was holding CHURCH at the Omni man – we had a Christian and a Priest! Remember all those guys .. I can’t even stomach the Nique for Danny Ish! Nique was on the radio crying and in tears … He heard in on the radio in his car and later that night, S T A N – K A S T E N (that word usually gets me blocked) rolled up in Nique’s driveway and the family had to hold literally Nique back from swinging at ole boy. He was hurt that the GM didn’t tell him first!

That “Ghost of The Bambino” will haunt this franchise forever me thinks! Nique said it felt like a divorce. Nique and MJ are the only reason I ever noticed the NBA.

Just wow! I love this team so much ….

Proud Member since 1986.

GMAN

January 23rd, 2012
4:15 pm

I would be cool with KMART about 5 years ago…The dude is 34 years old…

W.R. Terrell

January 23rd, 2012
4:15 pm

The Hawks had a cake walk over the Cavaliers and they were suppose to make it a cake walk. Josh Smith rebounded and played some “D”. Maybe he’s learning, especially after taking the life out of the team in the 3rd quarter when he launched jumper after jumper against Philly. In order to beat Milwaukee, a team the Hawks can beat, then, Josh has to play team ball and to his strengths which is a strong inside game and hopefully realizing that he must give the ball to the guards. There were some games where he hit the outside jumper but he will have more games of missing on that jumper then dropping it in the bucket. Some folks are not meant to be great outside shooters no matter how much they practice, you gotta have a shooters eye and touch and Josh has neither. I hope he plays ball and rely on the gifts that he truly posess. Becoming an Allstar takes more then points and highlight reels, maybe some lessons are sinking in, then again, maybe not. We’ll see tonight and if LD keeps his word, then play that can hurt the team may buy bench time. I hope so.

Astro Joe

January 23rd, 2012
4:24 pm

Ra’mon, maybe D12 gave them a list of preferred FA targets and a list of preferred non-FA targets. Either way, the Ellis, Iguodala, Josh list isn’t overly impressive to me (in terms of guys known for making winning plays). But it would make for an exciting and explosive team.

Sautee

January 23rd, 2012
4:27 pm

I can’t think of any reason why Dwight wouldn’t have included the ATL on his short list.

Unless he truly doesn’t want to come here.

And if coming here is what he wants, what is gained by leaving the ATL off the list?

What the IF?

January 23rd, 2012
4:39 pm

Save room for Chauncey while you’re antiquing.

Just Joe

January 23rd, 2012
4:40 pm

To whatever level Dwight would “like” to play in Atlanta, I think it get’s trumped by his “dislike” for the ASG and how this franchise is run. That’s why you wont see Atlanta on Dwight’s list. He’s not a fool. The last time we signed a major free agent, the owners took each other to court.

Help me remember. How many free agents have we signed (not re-signing our own players) to contracts larger than the veteran minimum in the last 10 years? Is the answer Joe Johnson, Speedy Claxton, Zaza Pachulia & Mo Evans, and that’s it?

Astro Joe

January 23rd, 2012
4:43 pm

Sautee, There is clear intent for not having his hometown on the list. If he and Josh talk (which is highly likely), then chances are Josh hasn’t had a whole lot good to say about how the media and fans treat local guys who play for the Hawks. Didn’t MC start this season discussing how Josh didn’t like being singled out for poor decisions (or something like that)? Also, he understands the role of ownership and may know that the Hawks haven’t spent more than $3M/season on an “external” FA since 2005 (isn’t that sad?). Who knows, maybe he wants to keep his hometown seperate from his working home… I could see some benefit to that for a pro athlete. But one way or another, the omission seems to be fully intentional.

Astro Joe

January 23rd, 2012
4:44 pm

Just Joe, Speedy was the last one signed for more than $3M (in 2006 I think, my previous post was wrong). Evans was signed for $2.5M/year.

Sautee

January 23rd, 2012
4:45 pm

“But one way or another, the omission seems to be fully intentional.”

Seemingly, at the very least.

SteveW

January 23rd, 2012
4:56 pm

AJ – You said, “Steve, 3 possible HOFers? Wow.”

You left out something. I said probably no HOF’ers on the Hawks current roster. But IF many things fell together perfectly, you may have 1, 2, or even 3 “marginal” HOF’ers. Gotta read that stuff close.

Also about Teague – just a jab AJ – Wanting to ask you how your feeling about him now. And if you were so adamantly wrong over a pretty long period of time about him, well maybe, you may be wrong about something else.

But AJ – You have been on fire today and recently – and do agree with probably most of your posts. But as I said about a healthyBrad Miller, he’s not worth a 1st rounder in any way shape or form – barely a 2nd rounder or two.

But if my goal is to win a Championship now, and I know I’ve got about a two year window to get it – I overpay now. That’s all I’m saying. And I’m positive 95% of the bloggers on here would disagree with me – but I’m conservative by nature (very) – but when I get close to a championship, and the only way to get there is to gamble – I’ll take the calculated rest.

doc

January 23rd, 2012
4:58 pm

dmb, i was there at the alex watching pistol, baby. also drove in from out of town to see the c’s go at it with the hawks in ‘80. i think mr celt himself stole an in pass and the game that night. the bird was something else.

proud member since 1957, heh heh

Sautee

January 23rd, 2012
4:59 pm

“I’ll take the calculated rest.”

That’s what I call my naps.

doc

January 23rd, 2012
5:00 pm

steve w we both played the open window in posts today. again we missed one when the magic went that year.

SteveW

January 23rd, 2012
5:05 pm

AJ -= Just read your post above – and agree – Teague is in, regardless of LD’s prior stupidity – I just hope LD doesn’t bench him. LD’s better, but I still don’t trust him in that area.

IF Josh and D12 are talking, I would think Josh is going to try and land where Dwight does. He is a free agent after next season.

Good job on Kenyon Martin if the Hawks make a serious run at him. He can help this year. Camby (when healthy) and Thomas are helping Portland, and their 37 and 38 I think.

FittenTrim

January 23rd, 2012
5:05 pm

I don’t care about Teague’s feelings.

All of my bitterness came from Coach Drew (and Coach Woodson) not giving the rookies the minutes that they needed. Why Drew wouldn’t play Teague?!?!?! It didn’t make any sense… only if there was locker room stuff we didn’t know about.

If not, Coach Drew was an idiot not to play him. And nobody like the realization that their coach is an idiot.

justahawkfan

January 23rd, 2012
5:08 pm

A person is ultimately responsible for his/her own esteem. That is what myboss told me(and i believe it to be true). If I had played Pg for sometime and the record of the team is pushing a 80-85% success rate, Why would any addition to team affect my confidence?

SteveW

January 23rd, 2012
5:09 pm

“Calculated risk” not “rest” as above, Ha!

The Bucks like Houston seem to give the Hawk problems. I think the Bucks may win a close game – but of course I’m rooting for the Hawks!

Michael Cunningham

January 23rd, 2012
5:10 pm

@ Bigman needed: “MC: what are the chances of bringing in a real center in here like okafor?”

he makes $13.5 mil next year and has early termination option in 2013-14 for $14.5 mil. so unless the trade includes Josh, Al or Joe it won’t happen.

Michael Cunningham

January 23rd, 2012
5:11 pm

@Boom Dizzle: “MC: How realistic is the possibility of K-Mart coming here?”

i don’t know. i am sure he will have multiple suitors.

Astro Joe

January 23rd, 2012
5:12 pm

Steve, if a player performs one way in year 1 and performs differently in year 2, I have no way of knowing if the year 2 performance was possible in year 1. I leave that to the professionals who are closer to that player than I. And if those people say that he wasn’t ready in year 1, then I’m going with it. And if teammates say that he needs to “stay focused” (to paraphrase Horford in November/December), then I will assume that there was previously a focus issue. And if he stops shooting during a half of ball when a teammate suggests that he needs to do something differently on the court, then I tend to think that he is still maturing. And if he says that he spent more time playing ball during the off-season than in previous years, then I tend to believe that the extra hours of practice may have helped him in ways that his previous off-season habits would not allow. (Which, again, would suggest that he is better prepared entering year 2 than he was in year 1). Lastly, I actually believe that a player who works out daily with his own NBA-caliber position coach AND daily practices with NBA players will be better after the end of those practices than he was at the beginning of those practices.

Bottom line, you can’t always expedite the rippening process. You could argue that they should have tried, but it doesn’t mean the result would have been the same.

And while I wish I could agree that we’re a Brad Miller away from a championship, I simply don’t see that.

SteveW

January 23rd, 2012
5:13 pm

Sautee – Me too! Ha!

Doc – Yep – The way we played Miami and Chicago let me know when healthy, we can compete with those guys. Just because Al went down, I don’t want to write off this season. I say do everything you can to get better, because you may have a shot in the playoffs.

Michael Cunningham

January 23rd, 2012
5:15 pm

@drmary: “Welcome Back MC! Glad you’re feeling better and back in the saddle.”

thanks much, appreciate it, but i got over the illness around the time of the Pacers game. i just didn’t have an off day from the start of camp until the T-Wolves game so took a couple.

Astro Joe

January 23rd, 2012
5:18 pm

MC, do you know if the Hawks have worked out any of those veteran centers that are currently available (e.g. Pryzbilla, Dampier, Fesenko, etc.)? Thanks and please tell Rick Sund to lose Josh Powell’s number.

SteveW

January 23rd, 2012
5:19 pm

AJ – I know what your saying. I would like to say that I know talent and chemistry when I see it, and I def. saw it with Teague. And just look at the irrationality of LD, letting Jamal and Bibby get slaughtered by record amounts, and then suddenly the bleeding stops when he starts Teague, or brings him in.

Having Coached, but obviously not at this level, I even felt like I could understand LD. A former PG, he was looking for certain things from Teague, and Teague was not providing it, because he wasn’t a natural PG.

But there comes a time where you let the perfect be the enemy of the good. And Teague was a way better fit at PG than Bibby, and even Jamal most of the time.

So while I understand, i still think it was inexcusable (and MC seems to as well by the above statement in the article) that LD did the Charge of the Light Brigade so many times last season when his answer was rotting on the bench. And Teague was better, he knew he was better, the players knew he was better. But he sat.

And when your highly motivated with alot of initiative, sitting in that situation, it does affect you. We’re humans, not robots.

Sautee

January 23rd, 2012
5:21 pm

MC,

I’m stunned that the AJC is not covering those games with a writer. Is this the wave of future journalism?

For Real

January 23rd, 2012
5:24 pm

“their trade options are limited” – I’m call BS on this one!

Hawks should make this trade right now and it will be the best offer Orlando can get. Oh and yes Turkoglu because Orlando wants to dump the money.

Hawks:
ZaZa: 5M
Horford: 12M
Williams: 8M
Hinrich: 8M
total: 33M +/-

Orlando:
Howard: 18M
Turkoglu: 11M
Richardson: 5M
total: 34M +/-

Rod from College Park

January 23rd, 2012
5:31 pm

I may be in the minority, and I like Kenyon Martin, but no way he helps us at center. Kenyon is basically Josh (lite). He is a better finisher than Josh and Horford around the rim, but his J is broke, and he likes to shoot it, he is terrible from the free throw line, and he is a decent rebounder. We would just be adding another 4 to the mix, which would mean that Ivan would get less time. Not interested. Kenyon has never played center, except in college regularly.

Nathan

January 23rd, 2012
5:32 pm

I like Hinrich in the 2 in lineups he be really good at guarding D-Wade… I really dont like Kenyon on the team unless we get rid of marvin then we could start him at the 4 and put Josh at the 3.

Joe Mama

January 23rd, 2012
5:35 pm

I know we cant get much for Al now that hes damaged goods, and he certainly is not going to attract any superstars to the team Like Josh or JJ can and will. I wonder what if anything we can get for Al…

Clearly this is Josh’ and JJ’ team. They are the only two who can take over a game.

I hope Al is not fighting and arguing in the locker room and insisting on taking his 12 pts 8 rebounds to power forward.

This team plays so much better with out Al. I guess guys like Josh and JJ want to win, where Al is like the ASG just content to have a winning record make the playoff and then do it again next year.

I can only shake my head if JJ and Josh should leave and we are stuck with Al Stackhouse and teague as leaders. That would just be awful.

Rufus1

January 23rd, 2012
5:37 pm

Rod from College Park,

You don’t think his defensive presence(shot blocking) is worth signing him?

Joe Mama

January 23rd, 2012
5:41 pm

According to MC and the NBA Josh is one of the very best finishers in the NBA and I do believe he is a better finisher than K mart.

The loss of Al will have little impact on the season or the playoffs.

we wont miss his 12ppg regular season nor will we miss his 11 ppg in the playoffs. No, Al doesnt have that kind of impact. There are about 50 guys in the nba that can put up Al like numbers and we have about 3 guys on our bench who if give Al’s minutes will put up Al’s numbers. Zaza and Ivan have already proved that.

What would hurt would be if we lost JJ or Josh, then you can pack up the season, but Al is no big loss.

Geemack

January 23rd, 2012
5:45 pm

Hinrich, T-Mac, Radmonavich, I Johnson, & Collins is a very good 2nd Unit. The Hawks should be playing 10 players nightly 15 to 20 mpg.

vava74

January 23rd, 2012
5:47 pm

what a relentless bullsh!tter… :-D

Joe Mama

January 23rd, 2012
5:47 pm

Who ever you are “for real” I must give you credit for good insight. At some point Orlando is going to have to realize they really dont have that many options and they may have to take a chance on Al as he is. Al should recover and get back to his form, plus he is under contract, hes from Florida and has publicly stated that he would find it interesting to be traded to Orlando and come home to Florida. that would certainly stop a lot of the locker room fighting.

You put Josh, JJ and Howard together and they can beat any team in the nba, so yeah I think we can get Howard to sign with his best friend Josh and go for the NBA crown.

Good Call get real

co-sign.