The Atlanta Hawks usually own the Minnesota Timberwolves, but this was not the case last night. After winning 13 of the last 14 games against the Timberwolves, the Hawks didn’t even come close to walking out of the Target Center with a win. Minnesota dominated on both ends of the floor to beat Atlanta by final score of 107-83.
It wasn’t just the offense or defense that failed to show up; this time it was both. The offense has been without Kyle Korver for the last four games, which is definitely a major reason for the recent struggles offensively. However, there’s no excuse for the effort that most of the team gave last night. This is especially true about Atlanta’s floor general Jeff Teague. Sometimes Teague looks unstoppable on the offensive end, but this was far from the case in the defeat to Minnesota.
He showed no signs of the aggressive point guard who has a tendency to attack the lane in order to get his points. In fact, it almost looked like he had no interest at all in this contest. Teague finished the game with a whopping zero points and dished out only six assists, which is just plain awful from your starting point guard. What makes his performance even more shocking is that recently he had been tearing it up on the offensive end for the Hawks. In his last four games, he averaged 23.3 points per game.
Going forward, Atlanta can’t afford another poor showing from their floor leader. Teague is far too valuable to the team’s success this season to not show up during crunch time. The Hawks currently hold the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, and the only way they will be able to stay in the playoff picture is with Teague running the show at a high level. Unfortunately, the road doesn’t get much easier for Atlanta as the team faces off against the Portland Trail Blazers tonight.