Atlanta Hawks: The next step for Jeff Teague?

I’ve noticed that when Jeff Teague drives to the basket, opposing bigs sometimes focus more on blocking out their man than aggressively helping to challenge Teague. I think some numbers explain why that might be.

Teague is tied for eighth among starting point guards in shot attempts per game at the rim (4.4) and is 14th in shooting percentage at the rim: 58.5, compared to an average of 60.5 for starting point guards. Teague ranks tied for 11th in the amount of shots he attempts per game from 3 to 9 feet (1.7) and is 12th in shooting percentage from that floater range: 35.4 percent, slightly above the league average of 35.1 for starting point guards. Teague’s free-throw rate of .25 is second-worst among his peers in the top 10 of shot attempts per game at the rim.

Here’s a comparison of the 20 point guards who attempt the most shots per game at the rim (stats don’t include Thursday’s games):

Player FGA/gm rim FG% rim FT rate
Russell Westbrook 7.0 62.2 .31
Tyreke Evans 6.6 62.4 .36
John Wall 6.3 57.1 .45
Derrick Rose 5.8 63.2 .34
Rajon Rondo 5.7 62.0 .43
Ty Lawson 5.5 62.0 .30
Tony Parker 4.5 64.0 .32
Brandon Jennings 4.4 58.2 .20
Jeff Teague 4.4 58.5 .25
D.J. Augustin 3.8 55.4 .26
Deron Williams 3.6 52.0 .33
Kyle Lowry 3.5 54.9 .34
Mike Conley 3.5 65.6 .23
Chris Paul 3.1 66.2 .27
Jrue Holiday 3.1 56.0 .17
Brandon Knight 3.0 56.8 .17
Darren Collison 2.9 55.7 .32
Raymond Felton 2.9 60.8 .22
Ricky Rubio 2.4 52.1 .41
Jarret Jack 2.2 64.6 .26

I think if Teague becomes more of a threat to finish when he gets to the basket then he might start drawing more fouls. Theoretically, help defenders would be more aggressive in trying to stop him (and the refs might give him more benefit of the doubt), leading to more foul calls.

Since Teague can be such an emotional subject for some of my blog people, I feel like I have to add disclaimers to anything that can be perceived as even mild criticism of his game.

None of this means I believe Kirk Hinrich should take Teague’s minutes. Teague deserved his shot long ago and has used his opportunity to prove he’s a good scoring point guard. I just think these numbers show that, unless Teague somehow starts shooting from mid range like Steve Nash and Chris Paul, this is the best way he can become an even better scorer.

(By the way, peep my story on Zaza Pachulia that ran in today’s AJC.)

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

228 comments Add your comment

prison mike

February 17th, 2012
2:50 pm

Jason Terry had this same problem once he got to the Hawks. He didn’t know how to absorb the contact and finish strong. Terry had supreme confidence in his jump shot but Jeff is comparable % wise.

He’ll figure it out sooner or later.

TMACfan

February 17th, 2012
2:53 pm

Teague is good, but not if LD puts the leash on him for Hinrich.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 17th, 2012
2:55 pm

Maybe if he was a part of this team the last two seasons, he would have become better at finishing at the rim by now. Can’t learn how to do that by watching from the bench as some out of shape motherf-cker who lost his quickness years ago stands around on the 3 point line.

He needs to get better at finishing, but he has also been shafted by the refs over and over again this season. I think if LD would step up and get T’d up a couple of times, it would help Teague’s free throw rate a lot more than any adjustment Teague makes to his game.

STRETCH

February 17th, 2012
2:59 pm

JR SMITH to the Knicks. Wow, must be great being a Knick fan these past couple of weeks! They look to be bal-Lin in the playoffs!

High-sider

February 17th, 2012
3:02 pm

vava74, northcyde and O’Brien,

Examples of some Blazers’ games in which Jamal Crawford played the PG position as a facilitator, playmaker and/or pass-first PG:

01/16/2012 POR def. NOH – Crawford; 5pts, 7asts
01/27/2012 POR def. PHX – Crawford; 9pts, 10asts
02/04/2012 POR def. DEN – Crawford; 8pts, 8asts
02/10/2012 POR def. NOH – Crawford; 31pts, 8asts
02/15/2012 POR def. GSW – Crawford; 14pts, 6asts

prison mike

February 17th, 2012
3:05 pm

Looking at the sched, I see the Hawks finishing 4-5 games above .500. That will probably be good enough for the 6th seed. NY will get home court the way they are treading. They are getting Josh Harrellson back soon that adds depth with Chandler.

IceColdATLien

February 17th, 2012
3:08 pm

There’s almost always an evolutionary process that PGs gotta go through once they start getting major run at the NBA level. From Jason Kidd (lack of a J) to Steve Nash (defensive deficiencies), all the great PGs had to refine their game to overcome the weaknesses the League was bound to exploit. So, I don’t see any reason for alarm or anything. However…

I would say that Kirk might be the better starter on this team of vets because he could control other guys (namely Josh) better than a young Teague can. In addition, JT could come off the bench and really create havoc with the second unit. Both guys bring something different to the table, so the minutes could be distributed on a game-by-game basis (dependent upon matchups, who’s hot, etc.)

KevinM

February 17th, 2012
3:10 pm

Teague is the key to this season, and he needs to be a presence down the stretch. I know it was someone who didn’t like the 2 man game with he and Joe, but I don’t think there’s enough there to go on because Teague is still finding his way with LD and Joe.
But Teague needs to get to the line and stop opposing penetration. I like the PG we have here and I don’t think Kirk fits the mold of a PG here. I like his game and want to see more of it, but not at the expense of Teague. If Teague can handle the minutes, I say give them to him because he has been good in long stretches.
Teague is probably closer to a MIke Conley than Westbrook, but he is exactly what this team needs on both ends.
I could see ranking Teague near the top 10 PGs in the league.

KevinM

February 17th, 2012
3:12 pm

Ice, I dont think you can move JT back to the 2nd unit. You are putting him immediately with a less productive group and his impact should be felt in 75% of the game instead of 25-50. He has too much talent to be sitting watching us plod up and down the court.

IceColdATLien

February 17th, 2012
3:14 pm

btw, I don’t believe there would be any connection between Drew getting techs and Jeff gettin more ref love. Refs aren’t going to give calls to a PG based on the antics of the least-respected, lowest-paid head coach in the game. Teague will get those calls when he attacks the rim on a regular basis, invites the contact, and actually finishes strong. Way too often you see Jeff trying to gyrate away from contact and put up some weak a$$ layup. He’s gotta get more of the Iverson mindset, and then the refs will respect Teague’s rim game and start blowing their whistles more often. But blaming Drew for Teague not getting calls is a real head-scratcher.

High-sider

February 17th, 2012
3:15 pm

I can’t wait for the Lin-bubble to burst. I’m sick of all the publicity this guy is receiving. He [Lin] is Tim Tebow all over again.

ryan

February 17th, 2012
3:16 pm

Are the Hawks planing on making any moves there is a Wallace on the block looks like Kaman may be heading to Miami i am sure that make a lot of us mad i am so tired of the Hawks and Braves just basically being lazy not doing anything to improve .

Najeh Davenpoop

February 17th, 2012
3:17 pm

I’m not “blaming Drew”, just saying that he can help alleviate the problem. I seriously doubt that refs make decisions on how much respect to give a coach’s complaints based on their salaries.

northcyde

February 17th, 2012
3:17 pm

It would help if Teague got some calls when going to the hole. He’s also missing a lot of floaters lately.

honest_abe

February 17th, 2012
3:17 pm

“Way too often you see Jeff trying to gyrate away from contact and put up some weak a$$ layup”

what’s even worse is that goofy ass grin after he turns it over or makes a mistake.

Dawg

February 17th, 2012
3:17 pm

I am sick seeing a discussion of a guard from Portland. Teague is the biggest problem with the Hawks. When you have a roster that is patched together with no real plan, a PG’s finishing % is not the biggest issue. The only issue to this team is how to fill out a roster while paying JJ superstar money without going over the LT.

KevinM

February 17th, 2012
3:17 pm

Reading the Kaman article, I think that NO wants ’something’ for their asset instead of just a buyout.
My opinion on this is that Kaman = Horford, if not better. He has been an AS, he has the experience in the league, but he may not end up with an Horford type annual salary. My thinking is he could come in and fill a huge roll in the middle as another threat because this team definitely needs another offensive threat. Bring him in, take away one or 2 of our starters, because that’s the only way Sund can justify any value in Marvin, and let’s roll the ball out there the rest of the way.
I think we forget about any impact that Zaza gives us once Kaman starts working with the 1st unit.

ryan

February 17th, 2012
3:18 pm

This sucks New York is on fire they just won a Super Bowl with the Giants now maybe NBA championship with the Knicks so depressing being an Atlanta sports fan .

IceColdATLien

February 17th, 2012
3:18 pm

Kevin, the decision of who starts wouldn’t decide the minutes, and the less effective bench could become more effective in a push-the-pace mode. I agree that Teague should get more minutes, but he’s just too timid out there at the beginning of games (defering to Josh, JJ, even Marvin at times). I don’t think it would be a regression so much as an acknowledgment that we start games too erratically too often and a veteran PG just might be a better way to start those contests.

Teague is definitely more effective than Kirk, but this is a team game and often times chemistry means more than who’s the better player… just ask the Knicks who’ve run off so many wins AFTER their best guys went down.

KevinM

February 17th, 2012
3:19 pm

If you have to add a #1 to a Kaman package, give them the 2013 pick and get something out of the 2012 draft. Lots of talent coming in the league next year.
Does that mean that we keep Sund and LD?

IceColdATLien

February 17th, 2012
3:22 pm

Y’all shouldn’t hate on Lin for any reason. The difference between Lin and Tebow is that Lin earned his playing time while Tebow had the crazy-Christian masses lobby for his playing time. Besides, Lin has actually put up good numbers as opposed to Tebow who sucked for 95% of the game and then was basically gifted games cuz he played crappy opponents.

Don’t hate on Lin cuz you don’t understand it.

honest_abe

February 17th, 2012
3:24 pm

jeremy’s LIN and you’re $@#$@^^@ OUT!

Rod from College Park

February 17th, 2012
3:26 pm

northcyde,

“People who watched the game saw Jamal at the point guard do nothing but look for his own shot the entire 2nd half because he couldn’t get the Blazers into their offensive sets. That’s part of the reason why he had to settle for all of those late possession shots.”

I know for a fact you did not watch the game because the commentator spoke directly about this during the game. They were not running any sets, because the Clippers adjusted at the half, and the only way they could score was isolations. Sometimes in real life basketball, when you can’t get into your sets, the other team has something to do with it. Steve Kerr spoke directly too that, but you would have no idea because you were waiting to see if you won your fantasy game last night. I really have no idea why continue to go back and forth with you about anything, when you continue to make excuses for Marvin Williams. that alone discredits anything esle you say.

KevinM

February 17th, 2012
3:29 pm

At this late stage in the game Ice, I don’t see us getting any PG of any value. So to me, its either JT or Kirk and give Teague the majority of the minutes and if LD will just quit rotating him out in a certain point in the 1st quarter, and make a move based on results on the court.
We will succeed more if we will just let Teague lead this team.

KevinM

February 17th, 2012
3:31 pm

ryan, the Knicks haven’t won anything; what they’ve done so far is get themselves back to .500. Its whether they can sustain a run against better teams that will show whether Lin is good enough night in and night out.
I am eager to see him go against Teague to be honest. I think we will do just fine against the Knicks because they have to fit together so many pieces that haven’t put in many minutes together. Lin is a good measuring stick for Teague.

Dawg

February 17th, 2012
3:35 pm

I meant to say “Teague is not the biggest problem”. Teague is the only player who can lead us to a new level at the pg position. KH is great depth but he is not better than JT. I would not mind seeing JT, KH and JJ at the small forward position for a quick change of pace at brief times during a game.

NekiEcko

February 17th, 2012
3:35 pm

We are talking about Teague, not Lin (nice story but he need to deal with elite defense first before crown him)

Most people need to realize that Teague was on the bench for two years after draft and he was almost gone to Washington in that trade for Hinrich. So yall need to lay off of him for a while, he isnt perfect but he is getting to the lane, if he learn how to take contact and scored, then he is just fine. So no trade Teague, if the Hawks has to blow it up, I will like him, Smith and one other to be the new core.

Dawg

February 17th, 2012
3:38 pm

A playoff starting lineup of JT, JJ, jS, AH and Kaman with our bench of KH, Green, Radmo, Alvin and Paculia could play with anyone.

Shake it up Sund.

ryan

February 17th, 2012
3:38 pm

KevinM i said they might win a championship i never said they will win one who knows how long this momentum will last because Miami and Orlando are hot any one those teams can stop Linsanity .

northcyde

February 17th, 2012
3:42 pm

I guess Nate McMillan didn’t watch the game either. Scroll down to his post game remarks.

http://www.blazersedge.com/

northcyde

February 17th, 2012
3:49 pm

Teague isn’t a true PG anyway. I’ve long said that Teague is closer to Spud Webb, than anyone else. Spud with defense. His upside far exceeds Spud though.

But because Teague isn’t a true point, he can’t run the team like he should. His worth this year is to continue to get in the lane and score in the paint. Like JJ, Teague simply needs start going to the hole stronger.

keeping it real

February 17th, 2012
3:49 pm

IMO Drew has put a leash on Teague. When we played Chicago in the playoffs last year, Teague was brilliant. I don’t believe Drew’s system will let him be that player this year. To make matters worse, if he gets off to a slow start, he play 4 minutes in the first or second half and than gets pulled for Hinrich who gives us no penetration. Drew is Woody light and we will never get what we could out of Teague as long as he is coach.

keeping it real

February 17th, 2012
3:50 pm

keeping it real

February 17th, 2012
3:51 pm

BTW, thanks for putting this up for discussion, MC.

supaficial

February 17th, 2012
3:58 pm

The hawks need to get rid of everyone except for jt0 j-smoove, ivan, and willie.the hawks should have signed avery johnson as the coach. i believe he could handle a premadona.one question i have is is joe johnson being paid for the facial injury he received

honest_abe

February 17th, 2012
4:01 pm

neckiecho – thanks for letting everyone know what we can talk about.

Astro Joe

February 17th, 2012
4:12 pm

Since Teague can be such an emotional subject for some of my blog people, I feel like I have to add disclaimers to anything that can be perceived as even mild criticism of his game.

Yeah, they are a sensitive lot. :lol:

SteveW

February 17th, 2012
4:15 pm

As much grief as some of you have given our 1st year PG (1st year starting), all I can see from the above stats is:

Jeff Teague is 9th in attempts among PG’s in the League – that’s in the upper 1/3 in a PG heavy League.

Teague makes a higher % of his shots at the rim than:
John Wall
DJ Augustin
Brandon Jennings
Darren Collison
JRue Holiday
Brandon Knight
Kyle Lowery
DERON WILLIAMS

And his rate for drawing FT’s is better than:
Brandon Jennings
Mike Conley
JRue Holiday
Raymond Felton
Brandon Knight

And he’s getting in the lane better than: CHRIS PAUL, Jrue Holiday, DERON WILLIAMS, Kyle Lowery, Ricky Rubio, Mike Conley and a host of others.

Couple these facts with:

Jeff Teague is FIRST in the NBA among PG’s who average at least 30 mpg in 3 point shooting % at 45.9%

And he’s 8th in the NBA among all players in Steals – ahead of LeBron, Iggy and the like

And he’s one of only 3 PG’s in the NBA who have averaged at least 30 mpg, at least 4.5 assists per game, and average less than 2 Turnovers per game – Darren Collison and Jose Calderon are the other two.

I think Jeff is not doing to badly – Hate on Haters!

SteveW

February 17th, 2012
4:18 pm

Not bad for the 8th PG picked in the 2009 draft…

SteveW

February 17th, 2012
4:23 pm

“Attempts at the rim” my first post should read.

Notice it was ‘Melo who said to give Lin a shot, not Woody.

kwooden

February 17th, 2012
4:29 pm

Teams have adjusted to Teague’s game, they forcing him to go more east-west opposed to north-south. They are cutting off clean drives and trying to make him pull-up for jumpshots. Jeff is going to have to start making counter adjustments and probably look to pass a little bit more. But realistically Jeff isn’t going to become Nash or CP3 overnight, which would be the only way for this team to really make-up for its lack of inside play. Teague is fine and I personally think he’s doing well. The real key to this season is Horford coming backe. The ECF is the goal and I don’t see any other way to get there without getting an All-Star Level Horford back for the Playoffs!

GO HAWKS!!

falCans

February 17th, 2012
4:37 pm

Yall should lay off LD he’has put togetyher a fine season. excuse a few games. Kudos for FINALLY green lighting JSmoove!!!

falCans

February 17th, 2012
4:42 pm

Horford suckd…only an all star because of lack of centersespecially on the east. He takes away touches from smoove, and u can see how ecited he can get when he knows he has offensive touches coming (rebounding etc.)

tyger

February 17th, 2012
5:20 pm

When Teague dives thru the 2 hole, he closes his eyes…

vava74

February 17th, 2012
5:22 pm

“I thought we were really stagnant the entire second half,” McMillan said. “Walking
the ball down the floor. Getting into our sets late. They picked up the pressure, we
were getting into our sets sometimes under 15 seconds. Then you’re playing
maybe one option as opposed to pushing the ball against this group, getting it up
the floor and getting into your offense with 20 seconds. Their pressure disrupted
and we didn’t keep a calm head down the stretch.”

prison mike

February 17th, 2012
5:24 pm

Sautee your numbers are off. Josh is shooting almost a shot more per game and is attempting half a free throw more which indicates more shot attempts.

I reckon the way he is trending more offensively, we may see JS attempts go upwards of 18 a game from this point. He is looking more comfortable on the block and he’s producing something positive way more than not there.

His last five games have him at 18.4 apg. Damn I kinda hit it on the head. The most glaring problem is 72.5% to 54.3% at the line. Someone needs to advise him to back up a few inches because he hits the back iron at an unusually high rate.

Heisenberg

February 17th, 2012
5:41 pm

I would rather Teague improve on the assist/turnover ratio first. That said, he has proven he can be a top tier PG in this league and will only get better. Hawks got other areas to ugrade before PG.

Just Joe

February 17th, 2012
5:45 pm

Interesting to see Chris Anderson on the block. He could help this team.

Just Joe

February 17th, 2012
5:56 pm

He’s got 2 yrs and $9M left. Rumor says Denver now has Nene, Koufas, and Mozgov, so they’re probably looking for future cap relief.

ag

February 17th, 2012
6:00 pm

Funny, JT has had a cult like following in Atlanta like Lin has in NY. Teague actually delivered for us a couple of times last season – only to be buried by LD the next game. JT0 then delivered in the playoffs – and he did get some attention. I think this team is doing extremely well – considering everything and I think like vava74 says – THIS IS JOSH TEAM! (Except stop trying to bring the ball up on the fast break!)