The Chicago Bulls, with the return of Derrick Rose, are expected to be one of the teams atop the NBA’s Eastern Conference trying to topple the Miami Heat off of their throne. Not only will they have Rose back, but they have incredible role players like Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, as well as a potential breakout candidate in Jimmy Butler.
However, one of the things that may be an issue for the Bulls is the backup point guard position behind Rose. As of right now, they have a solid backup in place with Kirk Hinrich. Last season, Hinrich averaged 7.7 points, 5.2 assists, 1.1 steals and 2.6 rebounds in 29.4 minutes per game, though he shot only 37.7 percent from the field. Regardless of his inefficiency last season, he’s still a solid backup in the NBA.
However, Hinrich has had injury troubles in recent seasons, including last year when he missed 22 games for the Bulls. If Hinrich were to go down again in the 2013-2014 season, the backup duties would then fall to Marquis Teague, which is not the most comforting of notions.
As a rookie last year, Teague didn’t see the floor much and wasn’t great when he did. In 48 appearances he averaged only 2.1 points and 1.3 assists in 8.2 minutes per game while shooting 38.1 percent from the field and 17.4 percent from three. He seemed overwhelmed by the pro game and his decision-making was quite suspect.
The Bulls were hoping to see some improvement from Teague at the Las Vegas Summer League and he did put up solid numbers. In four games he averaged 18.3 points, 4.8 assists and 2.8 boards in 30.5 minutes per game on 44 percent shooting and 6-8 three-point shooting. However, his decision-making still wasn’t great and he did average 3.5 turnovers per game.
Ultimately, Teague still looked like he has a long way to go before being an effective NBA point guard. If Hinrich goes down, having Teague play consistently as a reserve could be problematic for the Bulls. For the sake of their hopes with Rose returning, let’s hope Hinrich, and Rose for that matter, stay healthy.