Atlanta Hawks: Teague needed to be vocal leader this season

Jeff Teague averaged 12.6 points, 4.9 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game last season for the Hawks.

Jeff Teague averaged 12.6 points, 4.9 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game last season for the Hawks.

Vivlamore reporting. Here is my story on Jeff Teague that will appear in Tuesday’s edition of the AJC.

Jeff Teague will never be the loudest voice on the basketball court. It’s not his disposition. However, you are going to be hearing a lot more from the Hawks point guard this season.

The Hawks coaching staff, including head coach Larry Drew and player development instructor Nick Van Exel, have told Teague he needs to be a more vocal leader. There is so much information that needs to be disseminated with a new up-tempo offense and a slew of new players.

“When I’m on the court, it’s a different mindset for me,” Teague said. “I’m going to talk. I’m going to play. Off the court, I’m a laid-back type of guy. It’s not really my personality, but I’m a different person when I get between the lines. I want to win so I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll talk. I’ll yell. I’ll do all that.”

This will be a different season for Teague, who enters his fourth season, in another regard. With all the new additions – and the loss of Joe Johnson – the nature of his position has changed. His job is no longer primarily to bring the ball up court and get it to Johnson on the wing. There is no more Iso-Joe. The Iso and the Joe are gone.

Teauge will push the ball up court, run the wing, drive the lane, dish to a number of outside shooters. There are options for the speedy guard. So many options.

The additions of Devin Harris and Lou Williams, more speed at the guard position, were the impetus for the change in offense. Teague expects there will be less pressure on him to manage every minute of a game.

“If you watch Lou play, he plays. He gets up and down,” Teague said. “If you watch Devin play, he plays. He gets up and down. It’s the same way I feel. Not to take anything away from Joe but with him he got into his comfort zone, his comfort areas and I had to get him the ball right there. With these guys, they can break down the defense, play fast, get in the lanes. It’s going to help me, Josh [Smith], Al [Horford], all of us. I think that is going to benefit the whole team.”

Teague said he would play off the ball at the shooting guard position at times while in college at Wake Forest. That experience won’t be new to him.

Last season was a breakout season for Teague as he posted career-highs in nearly every statistical category. He averaged 12.6 points, 4.9 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.6 steal playing 33.1 minutes in all 66 regular-season games. He ranked eighth in the NBA in steals (106) and 10th in steals per game.

“Like I told him before we started camp, I want him to be a player who is able to get out in the open court as well so we can get the ball up to him,” Drew said. “If I have Lou Williams pushing the ball or Devin Harris pushing the ball and Jeff is ahead and he gets it, no one is going to stop him on the attack. There are areas of his game that should free him up to be a little bit more creative and less predictable.”

Teague admits that during his first three seasons he didn’t need to take a vocal role on the team. He joined the Core Four of Marvin Williams, Johnson, Horford and Smith. They already knew the ins and outs of the offensive and defensive schemes. They knew where to be and when to be there. Now, he is one of only five returning players on a rebuilt roster. It’s his time to step up and start directing – megaphone not necessary.

“This year he is getting a chance to be one of the leaders and one of the vocal leaders to get us involved in the offense and be able to police everybody when the time is needed,” Smith said. “We are going to be looking to him as a scoring option. It’s a new experience for him. I know it’s a challenge but I know he’s ready for it.”

- Chris Vivlamore

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Follow me on Twitter at ajchawks

40 comments Add your comment

Tosh Norfair

October 8th, 2012
7:09 pm

I just hope that the subtraction of Joe and the addition Devin and Lou will not set Jeff back. I am rooting for him and the rookies I hope they can all have a breakout season with the new system in place.

Slimjr

October 8th, 2012
7:28 pm

He hears Lou’s footsteps perhaps?

Hope his jumper steps up…That will make some noise if it does..

O’boy..

Lisa S.

October 8th, 2012
7:29 pm

Can’t wait for the regular season. Hope to catch a few games at Phillips. I hope Danny fixes our center problem and fix it fast. If i were the coach, i would start Zsa Zsa at center. Zsa Zsa has more street cred than Al.

falCans

October 8th, 2012
7:33 pm

Smoove fa President…Teague smh not too sure bout that guy…even his play is passive

Ray

October 8th, 2012
7:34 pm

Lou is not the person that Teague is afraid of it would be Harris, and even at this point he shouldn’t be afraid of anyone he’s improved every year. The only person that can hold Teague back is L.D and Teague himself he’s ready as far as I’m concerned.

Najeh Davenpoop

October 8th, 2012
7:35 pm

To see the way he has been talked about on this blog over the last several months, you would think Teague completely bombed last season, as opposed to being a respectable starter for a playoff team. He’ll be fine.

In other news, T-Mac is signing with a Chinese team.

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–tracy-mcgrady-finalizing-deal-to-play-in-china.html

falCans

October 8th, 2012
7:39 pm

Pachulia DEFINITE upgrade…Al ability to spread the floor (his only strength) is no longer needed.. Shooters everywhere

Slimjr

October 8th, 2012
7:40 pm

Guess I’ll have to [stream] the Spurs game on the Big Screen? Since its not being televised Wednesday..

Thank you Al Gore…. heh heh heh

Lisa S.

October 8th, 2012
7:43 pm

Al Horford

$12,000,000

$12,000,000

$12,000,000

$12,000,000

This brotha is getting paid. anyone think he is worth $12mil/per??? I do not. What do you guys think?
ASG could have spent their millions a little more wiser. They must be Mitt Romney backers(lol).

ntrigue

October 8th, 2012
7:45 pm

Some of yall are crazy Teague game will takes leaps this yr as long as he is not limited by coach Drew. If Teague gets green light to drive and penetrate he will be lights out and hopefully refs start calling fouls when he goes to the lane.

Buddy Grizzard

October 8th, 2012
7:53 pm

T-Mac to China is a good move. He is huge there because of his association with Yao. It also gives him an opportunity to prove that he can soak up minutes. And China’s season ends early enough that he can still make an NBA roster before playoff rosters are finalized.

Astro Joe

October 8th, 2012
8:35 pm

I’m not buying Teague being mre vocal. It won’t keep him from being “respectable”, but I don’t see him directing Josh or Al in half-court sets.

Melvin

October 8th, 2012
8:42 pm

Andre Johnson, WR for the Houston Texans and Joe Johnson must be cousins…My gosh those guys favor each other…

steven a smith

October 8th, 2012
9:08 pm

I wish we could send Al Hoford to China.

doc

October 8th, 2012
9:31 pm

Lisa maybe you should do some research and see how many players below that salary do more than al for the money. Some bench bigs make more than him or close to him and contirbute a whole h3ll of a lot more. That is one of the best features, is his contract and why he wont be traded without a significant return; unlike jj who was a real frigging drain at upwards of 18 mil a year.

Or maybe your real name is slimjr, ts or one of the other al detractors. in that case you cant be reasoned with.

rumplestiltzskin

October 8th, 2012
10:19 pm

Teague needs to be traded with Al Horford so we can upgrade this team.

Teague is too dumb to be a vocal leader. How can you lead when you dont understand the game? Teagues only asset is he’s physically young and so he is almost by default quick, but brainless. I rather have Harris handle the ball thank you.

By the way this was posted in the pictures of the hawks exhibition game against Miami. Expect this to be the same story as it always is:

Miami heat forward LeBron James gets past Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford to slam for 2 of his 10 points during first half action in the Hawks exhibition opener at Philips Arena in Atlanta on Sunday , Oct. 7, 2012

Yeah The escort service is getting warmed up for the season and will soon be in full effect.

Al’s escort service y’a'll

rumplestiltzskin

October 8th, 2012
10:20 pm

“I wish we could send Al Hoford to China.” – Why? you can run an escort service here.

rumplestiltzskin

October 8th, 2012
10:28 pm

Lisa S.

Roger that. far too over paid. I see why we werent able to trade Al off this past summer. Even Al has said his name was on the trading board, (where you at sautee) but nobody is going to pay that kind of money for an escort service…. well the hawks were tricked big time. Reminds me alot of Al’s role model Jon Kontract. Two low performance high pay second round playoff cogs. Hell nobody wanted Kontract either after Detroit tricked the hawks into paying all that money.

We got Harris for Marvin, we surely should get something for Al. By the way. Before he ripped his chest muscle Al was playing at his career average of 12ppg .

Same ol Al.

Puff Dragon

October 8th, 2012
10:31 pm

On the Al subject

“Some bench bigs … contribute a whole h3ll of a lot more” – doc

Yeah. We Know.

Grandad

October 8th, 2012
10:39 pm

Guys, I am sadden today. Some one very dear is going away. If you have ever lost some one close to you put your finger on your chest right above your heart and say ouch.

Let every flag fly at half mast tomorrow.

All of us have done some dirt but wasnt caught for whatever reason. While I will never publicly admit any thing that would send me to prison, have you ever had a friend that you ran with who got caught?

Well Im just saying, for All the friends you have who did dirt and was caught but you managed not too… touch your heart and lower your flags.

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ncaaf–jerry-sandusky-releases-audio-statement-on-eve-of-sentencing-hearing.html

steven a smith

October 8th, 2012
11:01 pm

Just had my first fantasy draft 2-night. my starting 5 are:
C–Dwight Howard
PF- Stoudemeire
SF-Melo
SG-Joe Johnson
PG-Steve Nash
Bench: Monta Ellis, Garnett, Scola, Brook Lopez, Andrea Bargnani, Teague, Damian Lillard, Rodney Stuckey…Great Team..

Sautee

October 8th, 2012
11:06 pm

Hats off to you Grandad. I know you and Sandusky were very close.

China.

October 8th, 2012
11:25 pm

We are not interested in your Al Horford, but thank you for the offer. You already owe us money anyway.

northcyde

October 9th, 2012
2:08 am

SMH @ another article about Teague being a vocal leader. This is going on, what . . 3 or 4 years now?

Either he is a vocal leader, or he isn’t. You just don’t all of a sudden become more vocal. It’s either a part of your personna, or it isn’t.

I can see it now, him yelling at Smith to go down in the post to get the ball, and Smith telling him to STFU and pass him the ball for a 20 footer . . because he’s wide open.

I like Teague as a scoring PG ( much in the mold of Lou Williams ), but he’s no floor leader. He wasn’t a floor leader in college, and he hasn’t been one in the pros. It’s going into Year 4 of the “Teague Era”. PGs with less talent than he has, had already established themselves as a floor leader by that time. Some people simply aren’t vocal leaders, and you can’t force them to be one either.

Just let Teague be Teague, and stop forcing him into being something he isn’t. If he’s not good enough, then give a chunk of his minutes to Harris or Williams.

*********************

In other news, Marvin played well in his Utah preseason debut

4 – 6 FGs ( even caught an alley-oop from Mo Williams )
5 – 6 FTs

13 pts
3 rebs
1 asst
1 stl

in 22 minutes

Astro Joe

October 9th, 2012
6:54 am

Asking Teague to be a vocal leader is akin to asking Joe Johnson to be a vocal leader. It simply isn’t their nature. And honestly, I don’t think him mentioning how he played off the ball in college is going to do anything to inspire confidence in his NBA PG skills. But he’ll be a fine PG for a team of this caliber and hopefully he will continue to develop and grow in confidence.

random

October 9th, 2012
7:03 am

@northcyde

You forgot to mention that marvin was up agaisnt the warriors. haha

Slap Dog Hoops

October 9th, 2012
7:41 am

I find it funny how people are already making Jeff Teague out to be an All Star as this season gets ready to start. The man averaged less than 13ppg for heaven’s sake and got his points fromn playing off the ball. I’m not trying to hate, I’m just being real. It’s a lot to expect a third year player who was a fourth option offensively to dominate. Am I right?

doc

October 9th, 2012
8:42 am

and marvins team lost.

doc

October 9th, 2012
8:43 am

lou will be vocal, teague wont is my bet.

MsDee

October 9th, 2012
8:53 am

@northcyde

“Either he is a vocal leader, or he isn’t. You just don’t all of a sudden become more vocal. It’s either a part of your personna, or it isn’t.

I can see it now, him yelling at Smith to go down in the post to get the ball, and Smith telling him to STFU and pass him the ball for a 20 footer . . because he’s wide open.”

Which one is it? Teague isnt a natural vocal person OR he is, but folks like Josh just wont listen to him?? I think Teague is local, Josh just will do what Josh wants to do and it carries over to other players like Horford and Jamal when he was here. If Josh will lead this team by FOLLOWING HIS POSITION’S INSTRUCTIONS, (case in point, after getting the rebound, PASS IT TO THE FREAKIN PG or if the play falls thru, GIVE THE FREAKIN BALL BACK TO THE PG TO RESET) then maybe JUST MAYBE everyone else will follow suit.

MsDee

October 9th, 2012
9:01 am

I sure hope Drew allow Jenkins the opportunity to make it to the all rookie team this all star season. When was the last time we had someone represented there as a rookie??? Exactly!!

I MUS WRITE

October 9th, 2012
9:58 am

Why is LD still here???……I’ll bet money that he decreases Teagues minutes in favor of Lou and Devin…… Which will be a huge mistake…Fire this clown already …AArow Suit man of the year SMH

I MUS WRITE

October 9th, 2012
10:00 am

Seriously tho The rook Damian Lillard got that dogg in him…That yungn got game -he’s ready.

Ken Strickland

October 9th, 2012
10:26 am

NORTHCYDE-It won’t matter if Teague is move vocal or not as long as he gets the message across. And if Josh continues his habit of ignoring his PG and his HC, while doing things his way, Ferry will send his butt packing one way or the other. Josh will have to show more maturity, efficiency, and self control if he wants to remain a Hawk under Ferry.

LDrew will definitely have to show more flexibility, player control, and a far greater committment to developing and playing his less experienced players over less productive vets if he wants to remain the HC. Why is eveyone making such a big issue over Teague being more aggressive and vocal, when LDrew has the biggest problem in those areas?

He should have taken more control and been more aggressive in dealing with both JJ and Josh. How in the devil can you expect a young PG in his 1st yr at the helm to control 2 head strong players when the HC was afraid to confront them, or take any action other then give lip service to reel them in? Let’s not spend all of our time addressing the symptom while ignoring the actual cause.

If we keep Korver we’ll have to pay him $5M. If we release him, we’ll only have to pay him $500K. Morrow and Jenkins are more versatile and more than capable of providing the same efficient long range shooting he provides. Korver could end up being the odd man out. After reading a scouting report of JPetro, I really don’t see him beating KBenson out.

Petro is a legit 7′, but it says he plays far shorter than his height by not challenging or blocking many shots and taking far too many ill advised jumpers rather than going inside. In that respect, it was said he’s just a taller version of JSmith. Now Benson on the other hand, while only an inch shorter than Petro, is more athletic, challenges and blocks shots, and at least tries to battle inside even though he currently lacks a lot of size and physical strength.

Both players need time and development to be consistently effective, but Benson has a lot more potential and upside than Petro. Besides, Petro can only play C while Benson can play PF and C. That alone would make Benson Ferry’s choice, given his committment to developing young talent. With Horford and Zaza being our top 2 Cs, and with the job IJohnson did last yr backing up Zaza at C, I seriously doubt if we’ll carry 3 backup Cs(Zaza, Benson, Petro).

Slick G

October 9th, 2012
10:51 am

Wow!….I’m still gettin over the fact they had the guts to pull the string on Slow-the-team-down Joe Joe but if they can maintain on defense, they will improve but they still need a couple of more pieces and hopefully they will keep J-Smoove on board bec he is irreplaceable(did i spell that right?)

Ken Strickland

October 9th, 2012
10:55 am

I see a lot of fans are concentrating mostly on players that will man the C and PG positions while SF and SG should be the biggest concerns going forward. We have a PG(DHarris), and streak shooter(AMorrow), a consistently deadeye shooting rookie(JJenkins), and a DEF minded long ball specialist(DStevenson) as our SG candidates.

We have 2 talented young players that are coming off potential career ending ankle or foot injuries in DJames/JAnderson, and a 1 trick pony and DEF liability in KKorver as our SF candidates. Yet some insist on making an issue of certain players that are competing at 2 of our 3 strongest positions, C and PG, with PF being the 3rd strong position.

I remember when many of the same fans that are complaining now were crying, complaining and predicting doom and gloom about basically the same things last yr when we signed TMac, VRad, WGreen, JPargo, JStackhouse, LDampier, and resigned JCollins. Well, that didn’t turn out too badly. How do you think last yrs signees stack up to their potential replacements(LWilliams, DHarris, AMorrow, KKorver, JJenkins, ATolliver, MScott, DStevenson, KBenson, DJames, JAnderson, and JPetro)?

Would you say the potential replacements are an upgrade or down grade? Would you say we got more talented, athletic, quicker, faster, deeper, and more versatile, or less so?

Astro Joe

October 9th, 2012
10:57 am

Strickland, my guess is Korver stays because he is a proven long distance shooter (Jenkins has only proven hs effectiveness in the SEC) and because he could be traded in February for a late 1st round or second round draft pick. The Wizards did the identical thing a few years ago… picked up Kirk Hinrich for a bag of chips and then traded him half-way through the season for assets. IMO, Ferry is about accumulating assets for his “real roster”. Jenkins can be locked up for 48 months… no need to worry about his playing time in the first 2-3 months of his career… he can prepare away from real games until his time comes.

I MUS WRITE

October 9th, 2012
10:57 am

Sautee……..Woah! Lol Grandiddy aient gon like this.

Luv Josh Smith

October 9th, 2012
11:22 am

“Teague isnt a natural vocal person OR he is, but folks like Josh just wont listen to him?? I think Teague is local, Josh just will do what Josh wants to do and it carries over to other players like Horford and Jamal when he was here.”
Exhibition game #1 Josh stats: 21 pts, 47% FG%, 4 RB, 0 Assts. ZERO assists! Way to run the offense through Josh. Not. I know its just one game…..

Supreme Grand Poobah

October 9th, 2012
11:27 am

Yeah Luv, it would be great if he didn’t play selfishly.