Tag:Jeff Teague
Posted on: May 2, 2011 11:40 am
Edited on: May 2, 2011 1:55 pm

Hawks-Bulls Preview: Wings will be clipped

Posted by Royce Young

I. Intro:  No. 5 seed Atlanta Hawks (44-38) vs. No. 1 seed Chicago Bulls (62-20)

It's not really the matchup we all anticipated, but that doesn't change anything. So it's not Dwight Howard versus the Bulls frontcourt, but the Hawks present Chicago an interesting matchup. Really, I get the feeling this series could surprise a bit and be really good.

A challenge for the Hawks though will be to forget about the Orlando series and re-focus here. Because that was a big win for them. They were humilated last year and obviously played with an edge. They need that same kind of motivation and edge to hold down Derrick Rose and the Bulls.

II. What Happened:  A look at the season series

The Bulls took the season series 2-1 over the Hawks with one close loss and two blowout wins. The Hawks scored 14 fewer points a game against the Bulls, were crushed on the glass, shot low percentages and couldn't stop the Bulls. The win the Hawks picked up came because they were able to slow the Bulls down and beat them in an ugly, grind-it-out game.

III. Secret of the Series: Transition

The Bulls play very good defense. The Hawks halfcourt offense can sometimes be bad. Solution? Run.

The Hawks have a bunch of talent and athleticism, especially in their bigs, that can get out in the open floor and run against the Bulls. Josh Smith is terrific in transition. Al Horford runs well. Players like Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford can find secondary opportunities off of fast breaks. Running is a big thing for the Hawks to try and do because it's hard to see them beating the Bulls four times using halfcourt offense.

The Bulls though are very good at controlling pace and keeping teams from running. Obviously Tom Thibodeau knows the Hawks want to run as much as possible and that will be a focus.

IV. The Line-Item Veto:  Who wins each match-up?

PG: The Bulls obviously had the edge in this department before Kirk Hinrich's injury, but now it's pretty wide. Jeff Teague will start for the Hawks in Game 1 and might be handling duties the entire series. Either way, the Bulls have a giant edge at point guard. Hinrich is a pesky on-ball defender and Rose would've had to work. His life just got easier. Huge advantage, Bulls. 

SG: This is kind of the opposite of the point guard matchup. Joe Johnson is the main offensive option for Atlanta and Keith Bogans' job is to lock him down. But for Chicago, not only is Bogans healthy, but he's totally capable of limiting Johnson. The Hawks have an edge, but it's not wide. Advantage, Hawks.

SF: Assuming the Hawks stick with the same starting five used against Orlando, Josh Smith will be here against Luol Deng. Obviously Smith has a big size advantage, but Deng is super long and will take Smith out on the perimeter. A lot will come down to if Smith does the same or uses his head and goes inside on Deng. Too close to call for me, so this is a push. 

PF: Carlos Boozer will try to give it a go in Game 1 and will face off in the series against Al Horford. This will be a terrific head-to-head with two big bodies that score well in the post. Definitely a good one to watch. Horford is more consistent and is playing better, so Atlanta has the edge here. Advantage, Hawks. 

C: Again, this will be Jason Collison versus Joakim Noah is things stay the same for Atlanta. If Larry Drew changes things up, he'll have Horford against his old Florida buddy and Marvin Williams at small forard with Smith at power forward. Under the assumption though Collins starts here, Noah has the edge. He played like the animal he is against Indiana and his athleticism could give Collins trouble on the glass. Advantage, Bulls. 

Bench: This is where the Hawks make their move. Jamal Crawford has been an absolute weapon off the bench for Atlanta and even Marvin Williams and Zaza Pachulia chipped in big time against Orlando. The Bulls bench lacked against Indiana other than Kyle Korver. Chicago doesn't look for offense as much as Atlanta does off the bench, but still, the Hawks should win this area easily every game. Advantage, Hawks. 

Coach: Larry Drew did a nice job in Round 1. Tom Thibodeau has emerged as a pretty incredible strategist and game coach. This feels like series that will be more just about matchups than anything else and Drew has the opportunities to use his team's versatility to move things around. But Thibodeau is the superior here. Advantage, Bulls. 

V. Conclusion

The Hawks can win this series. I'm convinced. They have the athletes, the scorers and the confidence to hang right in with the Bulls. Especially after the shaky play Chicago showed in the opening round. The Bulls are the better team, no doubt. They have a better system, won the season series handily and have Derrick Rose. But the Hawks have some talent. Don't overlook them.

That said, it's hard to picture it actually happening. The Bulls are just going to swallow the Hawks in the halfcourt. Atlanta averaged just 80 points per game against the Bulls in the regular season and had one of the worst offenses in the league. Like I said, transition is key, but the Bulls aren't dumb. They know that. The Hawks have the talent to steal one here or there, but the Bulls take this in six.
Posted on: February 16, 2011 2:04 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2011 2:06 pm

Trade Deadline: Atlanta shopping for Sessions?

Hawks looking for guard help, could look to Cavs' Sessions at deadline.
Posted by Matt Moore

Some people will tell you the San Antonio Spurs are flying under the radar this season. If that's true, then the Atlanta Hawks are flying in invisible, Heat resistant stealth bombers this season. Did you know the Hawks are just 3.5 games out of the No.3 seed in the East? 

On the flip side, did you know they're just 12th in the league in point differential, that they're 14th in offensive efficiency, 13th in defensive efficiency, and 12th in efficiency differential? So they're better than you'd think. But their record also shows a better team than has been on the floor. 

Which is why they may be looking for an upgrade, particularly at guard. From Ken Berger's Post-Ups Wednesday:
The Hawks are looking for guard help, and sources say they may be interested in the Cavs' Ramon Sessions. The feeling among rival execs is that the Hawks may be willing to spend up to or perhaps even a bit beyond the luxury-tax threshold if there's a deal that would significantly improve their chances in a playoff series with Boston, Orlando or Miami.
via Trade buzz: Swap not only way Melo ends up with Knicks - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball.

Jeff Teague has underwhelmed after a strong start, and Mike Bibby is, well, Mike Bibbly. Old, reliable, and old. Also can be old. Sessions would fit seamlessly with Atlanta and is the kind of athletic force on the break that could really mesh with Josh Smith and Al Horford. Sessions may have been part of the worst losing streak in NBA history, but he's also shooting 46% from the field this year and averaging 5 assists per game. On a team with actual players, who know what he could accomplish. 

A point guard advantage could help Atlanta push a second round playoff series to seven games.  And there, anything can happen, even if the Hawks are the most unlikely of contenders. It probably won't push them over, but it would be a solid upgrade regardless. 

Still lingering for the Hawks? The issue of Jamal Crawford, without an extension, and wanting one badly.  If that relationship has been soured beyond repair, the Hawks could get good value from him on the open market. 
Posted on: January 21, 2011 10:21 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2011 10:32 pm

Hawks lose in historic fashion to Hornets

The Atlanta Hawks lost to the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night, and they did so in historic fashion. Posted by Ben Golliver. hawks-hornets

Any time a post-game search of the Basketball-Reference.com database, which stretches back nearly 25 years, turns up empty, it's either really good news or really bad news. Either way, you know you've made some history.

In the case of the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night, it was really bad news. They got absolutely clobbered at home by the New Orleans Hornets, 100-59, scoring just 25 points in the second half. 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Hawks set a franchise record for fewest points since the team moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1968. The paper also noted that this was the team's "worst home loss since a 118-74 blowout by Phoenix on March 30, 2000."

On the night, Atlanta shot 23-79 from the field, a disastrous 29.1%. Atlanta's 23 made field goals as a team was the lowest output since Apr. 28, 1999, when they made just 20 buckets in a win over the New York Knicks. Since the 1986-1987 season, however, Atlanta has never made 23 or fewer shots while attempting 79 or greater shots. So, this night, with its 56 missed field goals, was one of the most brick-filled performance in at least 24 seasons. The Hawks did manage to shoot 25-82 (57 missed field goals) on Apr. 5, 1996.

Also worth nothing, Atlanta's team's assist total of 11 was the lowest in more than year, dating back to a loss to the Miami Heat on Jan. 4, 2010.

Analyzing the boxscore, it's amazing how the awful-ness was spread around so evenly. Only two Hawks reached double figures, No. 1 scoring option Joe Johnson scored just nine points on 12 shots, point guards Mike Bibby and Jeff Teague combined for 0 points on 0-15 shooting, and the team as a whole shot an abysmal 4-20 from the three-point line.  The last time the Hawks were that bad from behind the arc was Dec. 4, 2009, when they combined to shoot 4-23 from long range.

The Hawks aren't horrible offensively -- they rank 12th in offensive efficiency on the season -- and there are no obvious excuses for tonight's performance, as they had two days off to prepare for the game and just beat the Miami Heat on Tuesday night. Center Al Horford did not play with an ankle injury, his first game missed so far this season, but that hardly justifies the performance put up by his teammates.
Posted on: November 15, 2010 2:45 pm

What to make of the Teague-Thompson non-trade

Posted by Royce Young

Over the weekend, a report came out saying that the Hawks had shopped backup point guard Jeff Teague. And Monday, ESPN.com's Marc Stein tweeted an addendum to that saying that the Kings offered Jason Thompson to the Hawks for Teague, but Atlanta turned down the deal.

Well, what do we make of that?

The first thing to note is that obviously the Hawks think highly of Teague. Mike Bibby is 32 and will likely be moving on from Atlanta in the near future. So the Hawks clearly feel like second-year guard Teague is capable of being their leading man at the point. Because look at what Atlanta has in its frontcourt currently. Josh Smith and Al Horford are nice in the starting five, but behind them it's Zaza Pachulia, Josh Powell, Etan Thomas and Jason Collins. I think that's the opposite of depth.

If you look strictly at numbers, it's easy to question if Teague will be ready for that. He averaged 10 minutes a game his rookie season and is seeing 15 minutes a night this year. His numbers are low (4.5 points and 2.5 assists per game) but at times, he passes the eye test. He's athletic, strong and lightning quick. If the Hawks wanted to fully translate into a transition, breaking team, Teague might be an ideal candidate to fill the point spot there.

But then again, is he worth turning down Thompson? Just a season ago, some saw Thompson as one of the absolute steals of the 2008 draft as he was turning into a nightly double-double candidate. He's 6'11, just 24 years old and can easy defend both the 4 and the 5. He averaged 28 and 30 minutes a game his first two season in Sacramento, but because of the addition of DeMarcus Cousins along with Carl Landry and Samuel Dalembert, is being crowded in the King frontcourt as he's seen his minutes dip to around 15 a night.

The trade would be role player for role player, but Teague would certainly have a chance to compete for the starting spot against Beno Udrih in Sacto. And Thompson wouldn't start over Smith or Horford, but he'd absolutely provide much needed frontcourt depth in Atlanta, something that's valuable against the likes of the Magic, Celtics and Bulls.

Yet, the Hawks turned down the deal. If you were show me this potential trade and ask who I thought would have turned it down, I would've said the Kings, no doubt. But they were the ones willing. Either Jeff Teague has a lot more upside than most of us see, or Thompson isn't worth giving up a young asset for. It's probably a combination of both.

The message is clear to the other 28 teams though. If you want Jason Thompson, come and get him. Make Geoff Petrie an offer and who knows, it could very well be good enough. For instance, would Sam Presti be willing to help his Thunder frontcourt by offering up Eric Maynor for Thompson? That's one thought. And one call that could be made. Thompson is up for grabs. He'll likely be moved before the deadline. Just not to Atlanta evidently.
Posted on: November 8, 2010 3:20 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2010 7:12 am

Pistons still rumbling about trading core pieces

Posted by Royce Young

It doesn't look like Joe Dumars is going to be able to pull of fhis coal-for-silver trade of Richard Hamilton for Josh Smith because Atlanta isn't dealing, but that doesn't mean the Pistons aren't out in the market right now.

The Pistons would prefer to blow up the roster and move out some of the more expensive veteran pieces they have like Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince. Hamilton will be difficult to deal because his age (32), plus his contract (runs through 2013). But Prince on the other hand, has a pretty enticing deal and as a guy that could contribute on a contender, is probably Detroit's best bet to make a move.

Sekou Smith of NBA.com has heard a trade rumor involving the Hawks and the Pistons, this time not involving Rip Hamilton. It's a swap involving Prince and possibly Will Bynum for Jamal Crawford and Jeff Teague.

An interesting deal for sure because the Hawks could certainly use a defensive-minded veteran stopper like Prince, plus his expiring contract frees them up some financially. Crawford wants a contract extension and has made that clear with a pay-me-or-trade-me demand over the summer, but the Hawks didn't budge then after getting several calls on it. So to make a move now would really just indicate that Atlanta is looking for some cap flexibility.

Plus, Mike Bibby isn't going to be around that much longer and trading a potential future point guard in Teague seems a little curious. Sure, Will Bynum is a decent piece to get back, but I don't know if he's starting material.

In the end, it's probably nothing more than a whispered rumor that won't happen, but it's clear the Pistons are at least shopping their veterans. And a likely player could definitely be the Hawks. Something to keep an eye on, at least.

Posted on: October 7, 2010 9:28 am

Shootaround 10.7.10: Thinkin' 'Bout Things

Bulls thinkin' 'bout Dampier, Wizards thinkin' 'bout a name change, and Kidd thinkin' 'bout playing till he's 40, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore

Peja Stojakovic says health will determine if he plays past this season , the final year of his contract. He wants to get through just one year pain free. It's something we rarely consider with these players, treating injuries like they're some sort of outside clamp that prevents them from playing instead of actual pain the players are experiencing.

With Boozer on the shelf, the Bulls are taking a long look at Erick Dampier, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com . The Bulls waived Chris Richard this week, which is surprising considering their lack of frontcourt depth and the job Richard did in limited minutes.

Marcin Gortat is not going to suddenly get quiet about the issue: he wants a bigger role, now. Unfortunately for him, the Magic are pretty much like "Deal with it, baldy ." Gortat signed a huge contract with the Mavericks last summer but the Magic matched it in restricted free agenc and here we are. For some reason the Magic think having a severely disgruntled Polish guy called "The Hammer" on their team is a good idea.

So this is pretty awesome. Ted Leonsis, the new Wizards owner, posted 101 things the Wizards have put in play to try and improve the fan experience at Wizards games. Some of the smallest details are covered, like how fresh the hot dog buns are. But hidden in there is the following: Changing the name back to the Bullets. Status? "Under consideration." Hold your breath, Bullets fans.

The Hawks exercised their option on Jeff Teague, which should surprise absolutely no one. Teague's locked up through next year, if there is a next year.

Kevin Garnett "went to a dark place " after last year's Finals, which is just classic over-the-top Garnett talk. He was pretty much a wreck after losing that series, leaving you to wonder how he deals with life in any sort of way whatsoever.

Rudy Ferandez' agent went absolutely psycho-hose-beast on local radio, basically pulling a "Leave Britney alone" speech for Fernandez. The kicker is when asked why Rudy wants to go home: "There's friends, there's family, he's a shy guy. He's special." And also a Fraggle, apparently.

Josh McRoberts had an outstanding line last night and the bandwagon is starting to Heat up. McRoberts has already filled into the starting PF spot for the Pacers, and with little competition, will probably hold onto it. A star is born? Maybe?

Jason Kidd wants to play until he's 40 , which is just ridiculous and yet completely believable on all fronts. Oddly, he's already a defensive liability, but the Mavs are thinking about moving him to shooting guard. Which could end up disastrous, but hey, you never know with Kidd. Dude's a survivor. He's going to make it. He's going to work harder. Keep on survivin'. What ?

This Nets-Knicks rivalry gets more entertaining every day .
Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:38 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2010 4:49 pm

Jeff Teague has to find "The Dog"

Young Hawks guard gets guidance from Nick the Quick.
Posted by Matt Moore

Do you realize how many young guys get lost simply because they can't find the mental gear necessary to survive in the NBA? Talent is not lacking, not in the NBA. It's that mental edge that weeds so many guys out. And the Hawks need Jeff Teague to find that edge. Teague showed tremendous promise last season as a rookie, and with Mike Bibby further slipping into retirement age, he's going to be needed even more.

So to find that spirit animal, the Hawks brought in former NBA star Nick Van Exel. And he's even got a name for the beast. As told to the Atlanta Journal Constitution :
“We call it ‘the dog’ in the NBA,” Van Exel said. “We are trying to bring that dog out of him.”
Just gotta stop you there, Nick. I'd just like to provide an opportunity for everyone to make their own favorite dog joke about the NBA. Perhaps a Glen Robinson joke? No? Maybe a Ron Artest early-career gag ? Wait, hold on, I know I've got an Eddy Curry work ethic line in here somewhere, just let me find it.

Okay, let's move on. So Van Exel has been trying to bring out the angry side of Teague in an effort to make him into the best he can be. Please try and appreciate the irony that Jerryd Bayless can't get a starting job in Portland because he's too aggressive with the ball and not enough of a point guard while Jeff Teague is enough of a point guard but not angry enough. Those two should get together and go bowling.

In all seriousness, Teague's showed great flashes both last year and during Summer League, and could wind up surprising quite a few people on a Hawks team that everyone has low expectations for, despite them not losing a single relevant soul from last year's third seed. "The Dog" could be enough to at least keep them in the conversation for the top seeds in the East.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go find "The Dog" in making a sandwich. Aw, that just doesn't sound right at all.
Posted on: September 26, 2010 6:30 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2010 6:30 pm

Preseason Primer: Hawks

Posted by Royce Young

The Hawks made news by inking Joe Johnson to a superstar contract when many thought Johnson wasn't worth it. But it was either that or let him walk to a team that would give it to him. Atlanta didn't do much else and plans on the development of its young core to keep coming along. But the East may be passing them by. The Hawks are pretty much set heading to camp but still, the young faces might be able to push some of the older ones.

Training camp site: Atlanta, GA

Training camp starts: Sept. 28

Key additions: Josh Powell (free agent), Jordan Crawford (draft)

Key subtractions: Mike Woodson (fired)

Likely starting lineup:   Mike Bibby, PG; Joe Johnson, SG; Marvin Williams, SF; Josh Smith, PF, Al Horford, C

Player to watch: Any time a player gets paid, they immediately become someone to watch. And Joe Johnson got paid this summer. Most questioned the deal for Johnson, wondering if he was really worth the max money he was given. And now without the incentive of working for that contract left, all he has is the motivation he's got left is proving the doubters wrong. And winning games, of course.

Chemistry quiz: Jamal Crawford caused a bit of a stir asking for a pay-me-or-trade-me type of thing this summer. And coming into camp, that'll surely be a situation that hangs over a bit. But more than anything, the biggest question for the Hawks is if this team is ready to start moving ahead. Can they hang together now that players are getting big money, some are asking for money and a guy like Al Horford is waiting for his ship to come in. The Hawks were the up-and-comers a few years ago, now they better start moving ahead before contracts and disease of more stops everything in its tracks.

Camp battles: The Hawks are pretty much set across the board. The one battle that could be interesting later on is if Jeff Teague can push Mike Bibby at some point. This camp could be a big step in Teague showing he might be ready at some point.

Biggest strength: Length, athleticism and speed. Atlanta's starting five is as physically gifted as just about any group out there. Between Marvin Williams, Josh Smith and Al Horford, the team has talent out the wazoo. Johnson anchors the scoring and Horford is the steady inside presence. Atlanta may be missing something in the first five, but it's not much.

Glaring weakness: Depth. To be specific, depth on the inside. Jamal Crawford provides the scoring off the bench, Teague spells Bibby well (though Bibby may be on the way out) and Maurice Evans is a quality enough backup to Williams. But Josh Powell, Jason Collins and Zaza Pachulia may not be a strong enough secondary front line to battle Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett or Chris Bosh in the East.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com