The Chicago Bulls have found themselves in a tight situation, with Derrick Rose out with a torn ACL, Kirk Hinrich out with a groin injury and Nate Robinson playing inconsistently so far this preseason, they find themselves relying on rookie point guard Marquis Teague to play significant minutes during the season.
Teague, who is only 19 years old and was selected 29th overall by the Bulls during the NBA draft, has averaged one point and one turnover in five minutes of action this preseason. He has struggled to find his rhythm on the court and has looked out of step with the rest of the players.
These struggles are nothing new however; he occasionally displayed the same kind of struggles when he played in Kentucky but overcame them when his teammates relied on him most. Teague at times looks uncomfortable at the head of the offense and seems to lack the confidence of a seasoned point guard, but despite the way he has played during the preseason the Bulls and specifically head coach Tom Thibodeau have made it clear that they are confident in him and his ability to play.
Although his numbers are not impressive so far, Teague finds himself in a spot where he must learn on the run. Rose is expected to return no earlier than February and Hinrich is expected to miss some time–including the season opener against the Sacramento Kings–based on the extent of the groin injury. With the two guards for Chicago out, Teague must find his place and gain confidence in his ability to play or else risk being demoted to the NBA’s D-League. Although Thibodeau has made it clear he doesn’t like to send players to the D-League, if Teague cannot find his rhythm with the team it may be his only option.
Teague is a rookie, and that must be kept in mind when judging how well he has played so far but although hr is young and inexperienced his team is now calling his number and relying on him to produce and lead the offense until at-least Hinrich is healthy enough to return.