Atlanta Hawks: Can Harris-Teague in Atlanta work like Harris-Terry in Dallas?

Good together? (Photo by Getty Images)

Good together? (Photo by Getty Images)

Devin Harris is asked how he will fit on a team that already has Jeff Teague and lets out a chuckle before the question is even finished.

Apparently, he’s heard this one a few times before.

“They’ve been talking a lot about playing us together,” Harris said. “That’s something I’m accustomed to doing. I played with Jason Terry in Dallas with a small backcourt. We played a similar type way, getting up and down the floor. I think it can work out the same way [with Teague]. Obviously he’s one of the few remaining guys on the team that knows the system and knows it well. I think if we play together it can be a good tandem.”

The Hawks can only hope Teague-Harris works out the same way as Harris-Terry. In 2006-07, their one full year starting together, both Harris and Terry had strong seasons as Dallas won 67 games and scored 111.3 points per 100 possessions (second in the league).

According to Basketball-Reference, in 2006-07 Dallas used nine lineups in which Harris and Terry shared the backcourt for at least 20 minutes. The Mavericks were +380 with those lineups.

(Those nine lineups, by the way, played at a plodding pace of 88.4. That probably has a lot to do with Dirk Nowitzki and Josh Howard gobbling up a big chunk of the possessions.)

Harris had the most efficient scoring season of his career in 2006-07 with a true shooting percentage of 57.4. He averaged 14.6 points per 36 minutes with a usage percentage of 19.1.

Terry’s 58.7 true shooting percentage in 2006-07 is the second-best mark of his career. He averaged 17.1 points per 36 minutes with a usage percentage of 21.3.

Harris said he and Terry had no issues about who handled the ball.

“Whoever gets it pretty much goes and runs the break and the other guy sprints,” Harris said. “We didn’t worry too much about who brought the ball up. If it was halfcourt sets, usually I brought the ball up he’s the better shooter of us two.”

Evaluating defenders depends heavily on a team context, but Harris and Terry worked as a defensive tandem for the Mavs in 2006-07.

Harris was a defensive ace back then and the numbers show it. The Mavs allowed 8.6 points fewer points per 100 possessions with Harris on the floor and his opponent PER was 13.3.

Dallas allowed 1.9 points more per possession with Terry on the court in 2006-07. His opponent PER was 14.5 as the shooting guard, presumably because he cross-matched with Harris actually guarding twos, and 16.9 as the point guard.

The best available evidence suggests the small backcourt of Harris and Terry worked quite well for the Mavericks in 2006-07. That doesn’t mean Harris-Teague will work for the Hawks, of course, and there are reasons to be skeptical that those two will enjoy the same comfortable fit.

For one, Harris and Terry complemented each other–Harris was the relentless attacker, Terry was the sharpshooter–whereas Harris and Teague both want to get to the basket off the dribble.

In 2006-07, Harris tried 5.17 shot attempts at the rim per 36 minutes (51 percent of his attempts) and made 61 percent. By contrast, 32 percent of Terry’s field-goal attempts (343) that year were long 2s with a shooting percentage of 49, and 35 percent of Terry’s shots were 3-pointers with a true shooting percentage of 65.7.

Also, Harris isn’t the same player as he was during his Dallas days. He doesn’t go to the rim as often. His percentage of shot attempts at the rim each season since 2006-07: 42, 39, 34, 36, and 25. There’s also been a declining trend in Harris’ shooting percentage at the rim, from pretty good to poor (though he continues to be a foul magnet).

There are a couple exceptions to Harris’ dwindling numbers. He shot a career-high 37.4 percent on 3-pointers last season while attempting them at a higher rate than ever (206 in 1,689 minutes) and he shot 65 percent at the rim. Both numbers are outliers season for his career but, in regards to the 3-point shooting, it’s worth noting that Harris was more of a spot-up shooter last season.

A career-high 87 percent of Harris’ 3-pointers in 2011-12 were assisted. In addition, spot-ups were Harris’ most frequent play type in the halfcourt last season, according to Synergy Sports Technology, and his 1.09 points per possession ranked 45th in the league.

So maybe Harris can get those same spot-up opportunities this season and make them at a high clip and Teague also can have another good year spotting up for 3-pointers. And it’s possible Teague and Harris can set each other up for drives to the basket, with space created by the shooters the Hawks can put on the wing. Certainly Josh Smith and Al Horford in the post can feed either guard for spot-ups or, if defenders close hard, show-and-gos.

Or perhaps Teague and Harris can make all of that not matter so much because they push a breakneck pace (with big men who can keep up) and are disruptive enough on defense to mask their relative lack of size.

“Obviously with the shooting [Danny Ferry's] added that’s going to open up the paint for me, which is something I like to do is get in the paint and cause havoc,” Harris said. “Defensively, [we will be] getting after it and changing defenses. It’s going to be a fun way to play. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat
Follow @ajchawks on Twitter.

264 comments Add your comment

lewis

August 9th, 2012
9:37 am

joe

August 9th, 2012
9:49 am

HAWKSORDIE

August 9th, 2012
9:52 am

niceeeee. …I’m all for it ..whatever the chemistry allows to mesh 100%…go hawks

joe

August 9th, 2012
9:54 am

I’m off to get my anus bleached….

ctrim

August 9th, 2012
10:00 am

Very excited about the upcoming season – Al is an all star center/Josh will be an all star forward/ Teague’s continued development/ flexability to tweak this team to make it better.

Point-forward

August 9th, 2012
10:01 am

Our backcourt will be small and crazy fast similar to the Jennings-Ellis combo in Milwaukee.

Astro Joe

August 9th, 2012
10:01 am

We’re definitely seeing teams play two small guards together more often. But to the point MC made, it usually includes one penetrator and one shooter. Undoubtedly, having Harris, Teague and Lou play together (a combo of 2 of them) will produce mixed results depending on the match-up. It is a one-year experiment as there seems very little likelihood that Ferry would look to maintain that tandem beyond a single season. In fact, the ‘12-13 season is essentially an audition for the majority of the roster.

Adam

August 9th, 2012
10:06 am

111.3 points per possession??? That’s incredible….and it was second in the league? That’s unbelievable!!!

i_am_soulstar

August 9th, 2012
10:07 am

Interested to see those 2 together. Interested to see Lou coming off the bench too.

Rick

August 9th, 2012
10:20 am

Thanks for some updates I am itching to get as much info on the Hawks! I like the idea of this team running this year getting up and down the floor and cranking out 3’s! It reminds me of how Orlando has played for years; we dont have that big man in the middle, but we do have big time shooters who can knock it down!

Jay Dubu

August 9th, 2012
10:30 am

LD has his work cut out for him this upcoming season, and we’ll get to see how good of a coach he is…or isn’t.

glw

August 9th, 2012
10:45 am

I think the biggest part of that question is not so much how well they play together, but how they share the point guard duties. With Lou Williams, Morrow and Jenkins, will Harris and Teague play a lot of minutes together? I definitley think Teague will start, but if Harris is effective like he was in New Jersey, I can see him taking a few extra minutes from Teague at pg, and then getting a handful of minutes at 2 guard.

I think Teague will end up getting 30-32 as the point with Harris getting the rest of them. And Harris maybe gets a 5 or 6 minutes a game at the 2 spot.

pointguardslim

August 9th, 2012
10:45 am

Who’s your Dirk? Josh or Al smh

Ken Strickland

August 9th, 2012
10:49 am

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1290273-nba-rumors-atlanta-hawks-should-keep-their-distance-from-dwight-howard

This is what I’ve been saying all along. There are better options in FA than Howard for the Hawks.

Hoops

August 9th, 2012
11:01 am

This combo will work fine as long as they want to work together. I see Teague/Harris at the point, Harris/Williams/Stevenson at the 2, Morrow/Korver/Smith at the 3. That is great depth on the perimeter for the Hawks.

I expect the Hawks to add Ivan Johnson and Benson to the team in the near future. It will be interesting to see if there is a trade for a SF in the works after September 11.

Point-forward

August 9th, 2012
11:01 am

@Ken Strictland: oh yeah? Like who? Please Give me one FA right now that is better than Howard. And posting BR links doesn’t help your credibility either. Defend yourself.

glw

August 9th, 2012
11:02 am

@Ken Strickland

Nice article and yes the points made about pairing Dwight with Al and Josh next year could create chemistry problems. And I feel Dwight would work better with Al than Josh, but Dwight who is a longshot anyway definitely wouldlnt if Josh wasnt here. But the bottom line is Dwight is a superstar, Top 5 player and this is a superstar driven league, so if you have a chance to get one, you roll the dice and let the other chips fall where they may.

Point-forward

August 9th, 2012
11:03 am

I can see Benson actually making the roster this time around. With the way he performed on SL. As long as he keeps it up through Vet Camp, then I think he is in good shape to make it.

Kunta Kinte Manning

August 9th, 2012
11:09 am

If the Hawks can run and shoot and hit there threes at the rate that this team is now capable of, then the hawks may very well surprise a lot of people and win 60 games this year. I mean, most of the roster can step out and hit three’s, including Josh Smith…..We have Morrow, Jenkins, Korver, Lou Williams, Teague, Harris, Josh Smith…I can’t remember the last time I saw an NBA team with this many shooters….sure Josh Smith is not the best 3 point shooter in the world, but as we all know, he has had games where he’s made multiple 3 pointers…If LARRY DREW is a LEGITIMATE coach and not a FRAUD…then this team can definitely be in the top 3 of the Eastern Conference this year, and could very well be a serious contender for a shot at the NBA title.

moboman

August 9th, 2012
11:26 am

give em horford, but only if Dwight extends his contract.

Crispy McBiscuit

August 9th, 2012
11:32 am

THE CORE: ( The Foundation of the team )

C – Pauchulia
PF – Horford
SF – Smith
SG – Harris
PG – Teague

THE WINGS : ( The energy guys and shooters that make the team fly )

C – Petro
PF – Johnson
SF – Korver
SG – Morrow
PG – Lou Williams

THE FEET: ( The helpers and workers who keep the team going and afloat in time of need)

C – Benson ( He will make the team )
PF – Jordan Williams
SF – Stevenson
SG – Jenkins
PG – Janero Pargo ( Would Be Great if they signed him again )

I THINK THAT THESE GROUP OF GUYS FORM ONE REALLY STRONG AND RESPECTABLE ” HAWK “.

Crispy McBiscuit

August 9th, 2012
11:34 am

THE CORE: ( The Foundation of the team )

C – Pauchulia
PF – Horford
SF – Smith
SG – Harris
PG – Teague

THE WINGS : ( The energy guys and shooters that make the team fly )

C – Petro
PF – Johnson
SF – Korver
SG – Morrow
PG – Lou Williams

THE FEET: ( The helpers and workers who keep the team going and afloat in time of need)

C – Benson ( He will make the team )
PF – Jordan Williams
SF – Stevenson
SG – Jenkins
PG – Janero Pargo ( Would Be Great if they signed him again )

I THINK THAT THESE GROUP OF GUYS FORM ONE REALLY STRONG AND RESPECTABLE ” HAWK “.

“THE SPIRIT IS IN THE AIR AND THE PRESENCE IS ON THE GROUND” ~ circa 1989 Atlanta Hawks promo song.

moboman

August 9th, 2012
11:37 am

Last post to Kinte wasnt mine. Have enough cojones to use your own handle if you want to make comments.

Najeh Davenpoop

August 9th, 2012
11:40 am

I am still expecting Harris to be dealt at or before the trade deadline. But watching him, Teague, and Lou push the pace until then should be fun.

giw

August 9th, 2012
11:40 am

I am sorry for being gay…eventhough I am really very gay, I shouldn’t be posting my business online and pretending to be other people in forums….I am the troll…..sorry again I’m gone.

glw

August 9th, 2012
11:47 am

damn troll, when you steal my name at least get all the letters right, its glw not giw

moboman

August 9th, 2012
11:52 am

MC — is there no way to filter these jerks?

Echevarria

August 9th, 2012
11:53 am

I really like the build of this team. We are built to play an inside-out game. The roster, as currently constructed, will give us the true litmus test as to whether Josh Smith can stay at the basket or if he is going to insist on sitting on the wing. Honestly, if we see him still patrolling the wing with all the wing talent we’ve added, I think THAT should be the sign to trade him. I want to keep Smith and give him a full extension if he can prove himself in this, his contract year. He’s been proving himself, but that was with the old roster. Can he show maturity and be flexible to a REAL NBA situation where you get thrust into a new situation with new team mates?

Echevarria

August 9th, 2012
11:58 am

Also, the Teague – Harris combo, that will work fantastically! You’ve seen how hard it is for a lot of PG’s to guard Teague on the wing. He ROUTINELY gets to the basket. It cannot hurt to have another one of the hardest guys in the league to guard with the ball in his hands: Devin Harris. For a long time Harris was widely regarded as the fastest guy in the league from baseline to baseline at somewhere in the 8 second range? I know he’s slowed a bit since then, but only by a little bit.

Another reason I think Harris and Teague need to play together on the 1st unit, Lou Williams needs to play the PG for the second unit with Jenkins. Jenkins is going to need to adjust to the NBA. The best way for that to happen is to be playing beside a guard who is going to require help. Lou Williams, arguably one of the BEST shot creators in the NBA along with Terry, Crawford, and Jennings, will make Jenkins’ man help off of him and that will open Jenkins up on the wing. Also, whenever the ball is in motion the first guy to defend on the wing will be the veteran-mega-scorer, Williams, which will leave the rookie wide open to get his development in during this season, Jenkins.

WeBurn

August 9th, 2012
12:01 pm

I hope it works, but I am skeptical.

1. Teague is not on the level that Jason Terry was in 2006.

2. Harris is not on the level that Harris was in 2006.

3. No Dirk on this team

4. Lou Williams is going to need/get minutes.

Ray

August 9th, 2012
12:02 pm

Wow I’ve been gone quite some time and it seems like people have had to change name handles because of a few trolls.

NekiEcko

August 9th, 2012
12:16 pm

I think that Harris-Teague would work but this team dont have a Dirk on this team, so it might work and might not work.

But for the D12 situation, I say “Go for it”, sure its a risk but if this risk pays off, this team core is going to be something to be hold and they will match up nicely versus the Heat.

NekiEcko

August 9th, 2012
12:23 pm

@12:20 pm post

That isnt me, and the person who is doing that needs to stop, we want to talk about Hawks basketball not you copycat everybody, you are acting like a 5 year old. So grow up

Sam

August 9th, 2012
12:24 pm

Hopefully we will be able to move Harris in a trade at some point this season and this whole discussion will be pointless…

NekiEcko

August 9th, 2012
12:38 pm

Its best to ignore the troll.

But I was wondering, if Dwight is ever going to be traded to another team, sooner than later yall think?

JT's Hoops Blog

August 9th, 2012
12:50 pm

Seeing Harris and Teague together would be nice because both are quick guards that can push the ball and run the floor; however, I do not see this team making the playoffs.

Ken Strickland

August 9th, 2012
1:04 pm

POINT-FORWARD-This may come as a shock to you and all of the other DHoward fanatics, but he hasn’t led the Magic to the promise land after 8yrs of trying. And there have been 8 champions crowned in those 8yrs without Dwight on their team.

We already have.
1-an All NBA center(AHorford),
2-an AllStar caliber PF(JSmith),
3-a young and developing PG(JTeague),
4-a talented vet PG(DHarris),
5-a top caliber backup OC(ZPachulia)
6-a solid physical backup PF/OC(IJohnson), and a stretch 4(Scott),
7-a SMOY SG/PG candidate(LWilliams),
8-several quality 3pt shooters(Jenkins, Korver, Morrow)
9-a 3rd string center that was more productive than Dampier and Collins combined(Petro),
10-2 former 2nd rd draft picks that can be developed into capable and versatile players(PSy &

With the talent we already have, we can become a NBA championship caliber team by adding the right pieces at SG and SF.

Najeh Davenpoop

August 9th, 2012
1:45 pm

Adrian Wojnarowski ‏@WojYahooNBA
Y! Sources: Orlando engaged in four-team talks to send Dwight Howard to the Lakers in blockbuster deal.
View summary
Reply Retweet Favorite

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–lakers–magic-in-blockbuster-four-team-trade-talks-to-send-dwight-howard-to-l-a-.html

Denver and Philadelphia are the other two teams involved.

Najeh Davenpoop

August 9th, 2012
1:47 pm

There are other players involved in these fluid talks, but a framework of the possible deal includes Howard and Denver forward Al Harrington going to the Lakers, Philadelphia guard Andre Iguodala going to the Nuggets, Los Angeles center Andrew Bynum moving to the 76ers, and Los Angeles forward Pau Gasol and Denver guard Arron Affalo going to the Magic, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Doesn’t make a ton of sense from the Nuggets’ perspective, in my opinion. Two of their four best players would be small forwards if this happened.

Najeh Davenpoop

August 9th, 2012
1:49 pm

“This may come as a shock to you and all of the other DHoward fanatics, but he hasn’t led the Magic to the promise land after 8yrs of trying. And there have been 8 champions crowned in those 8yrs without Dwight on their team.”

He has, however, led them to the NBA Finals. You know, that place the Atlanta Hawks have NEVER BEEN IN THEIR ENTIRE EXISTENCE.

Yes, this team can become a championship contender by adding the right pieces at SG and SF, provided those pieces are of LeBron or Wade’s caliber. Players like that are not just sitting on their ass waiting for Danny Ferry to call them.

glw

August 9th, 2012
1:53 pm

@Najeh

Sounds like more idle Dwight trade talk. Cant see any deal going down with the Lakers giving up both Gasol and Bynum.

Point-forward

August 9th, 2012
1:56 pm

@Ken : the thing is, if there is A chance to get him, then we must exercise all our options to get him. I hate Dwight’s attitude and how he this whole “Dwightmare”. But Im not gonna sit here and deny how much good of a player he is.

Astro Joe

August 9th, 2012
2:04 pm

I think Iggy’s contract expires next summer… sounds like a nice way to shed salary… it never made sense to sign Gallinari, Affaflo and Chandler to long-term deals.

Ken Strickland

August 9th, 2012
2:05 pm

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1290142-nba-trade-rumors-reasons-dwight-howard-could-end-up-on-atlanta-hawks

Here’s a very good article on the possibility of us acquiring Dwight.

POINT-FOWARD-I wouldn’t be at all upset if we signed or successfully traded for Dwight. I want us to become a championship caliber team, and we would definitely become one with him on our roster. My point is, we can also become a championship caliber team without him, as teams that have won the last 8 NBA titles have proven.

Ken Strickland

August 9th, 2012
2:17 pm

NAJEH DAVENPOOP-So, you’re saying that we could become a championship caliber team without Dwight, but only if we sign a LeBron and DWade caliber player at those positions. Tell me, did the Mavericks have a DWade or LeBron caliber SG and/or SF when they defeated the Heat, with Lebron and DWade, to win their NBA title?

I certainly hope our players and coaching staff don’t enter the season with the idea that nothing can be accomplished unless we acquire DHoward, or a player, or players, of DWade and/or Lebron’s caliber.

BIG DOG

August 9th, 2012
2:27 pm

Hawks just need to sit back and wait for 2013.

Hawks will be looking at on 4players sign

Jenkins, Lou, Horford, Teague

21 mill only on the books.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

BIG DOG

August 9th, 2012
2:29 pm

Hawks could sign CP3, D12, JOSH in 2013

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

BIG DOG

August 9th, 2012
2:34 pm

Hawks 2013 roster could be.

CP3, Lou, Josh, Horford, D12

Teague, Morrow, Korver, Ivan, Zaza

2013 NBA CHAMPIONS.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

gtjason41

August 9th, 2012
2:51 pm

Forget Dwight Howard! He obviously doesn’t want to be here! Let this year play out how it does by not caring about the results.

We need to make 4 moves to become instant title contenders:
1) Sign back Josh Smith at all costs
2) Trade Al Horford for a quality SF (Rudy Gay, Iguadala, Danny Grainger)
3) Sign Al Jefferson to finally get a true center
4) Offer James Harden 4yr/58 mil (restricted free agent, but thunder will not match

This puts our team at:
PG Teague
SG Harden
SF Gay/Iguadala/Grainger
PF Smith
C Jefferson

PG Williams
SG Jenkins
SF Korver
PF Johnson
C Pachulia

2013-2014 NBA Champions!

PEDRO EL GITANO

August 9th, 2012
3:06 pm

Yo creo que traspasar a Teague sería un idea muy buena.