After a quite convoluted situation this season involving the Atlanta Hawks’ intentions for the point guard position prior to the start of the 2013-14 NBA season, they ultimately decided that they were going to continue with Jeff Teague as their starting point guard for this season and watch the 25-year-old continue to develop.
On opening night for the Hawks, that decision looked quite wise as Teague was fantastic despite a losing effort from Atlanta. In that game, Teague put up 24 points, nine assists, two rebounds and four steals while shooting 7-13 from the floor, 1-4 from three, and 9-12 from the line. Teague was aggressive all game in terms of making plays for himself and for his teammates.
Over the Hawks’ next six games, though, Teague was far less impressive. The fifth-year point guard did notch a double-double in five of those games, but he failed to eclipse the 20-point mark in any of those contests while also seeing his shooting efficiency falter a great deal including shooting less than 40 percent from the field in three of the six games.
Wednesday night against the New York Knicks looked like a potential jumping-off point for Teague, though, as he played well and kept the Hawks in the game, despite it ultimately ending in a loss. He finished the night with 25 points, eight assists and five rebounds while getting to the foul line 14 times, though he did shoot only 7-17 from the floor.
That game seemed like even more of a jumping-off point on Friday as Teague delivered a masterful performance against the Philadelphia 76ers. In 35 minutes, Teague scored 33 points while dishing out 10 assists, grabbing four rebounds and notching a steal as well. More importantly, though, Teague continued to get to the line, making 13 trips, and showed improved efficiency as he shot 10-16 from the field.
Teague certainly doesn’t need to be a 25-point scorer every night on a team with a lot of offensive weapons, but his aggressiveness is something that needs to stick, but it needs to stick alongside smart decision-making. This Hawks team is at its best when Teague is attacking, but also isn’t forcing shots or making poor decisions with the ball, something that hasn’t happened too often to start the year. If his last two games are any indication, though, Teague seems to be getting on the right track, which is great news for the Hawks and their playoff aspirations.