After the Atlanta Hawks destroyed the Indiana Pacers away from home in their previous game, you would think the Hawks would be ready for the Detroit Pistons in front of the home crowd at Philips Arena. This is especially true with a spot on the line for the NBA Playoffs, which would make you believe the Hawks would bring even more effort and intensity to the floor. However, this was not the case at all last night.
Atlanta came out flat and showed no signs of a team fighting to make the playoffs. The Pistons are a decent team in their own right, but the Hawks had no business losing to a team that they could have easily beaten. Detroit came in with an abysmal 28-49 record and had only won three out of their last 13 games. Want to know what teams the Pistons beat? They beat the Utah Jazz, Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics, who are three of the worst teams in the league.
I know the Hawks struggle against teams with height due to Al Horford‘s absence down low, but still there’s no excuse for losing last night’s contest. Part of the blame has to be on Jeff Teague, too. From time to time it just seems that the Atlanta point guard has no interest at all in exerting his will on his foe. In a good match-up against Brandon Jennings, Teague should have gone off on the offensive end.
Instead he only finished with 15 points, and most of these points came towards the end when the game was already decided. With the playoffs on the line, Teague should have scored at least 20 points in order to help lead his team to a much-needed victory. He might have dished out nine assists to try and get his teammates going, but sometimes he just needs to be a scorer.
Teague has far too much talent offensively to just sit back and watch his teammates struggle against the lowly Pistons. Nobody else on the Hawks possesses the ability to get by someone as quickly as he can, which is why now is the time for the floor general to bring his offensive game to the court every game going forward. His sidekick, Paul Millsap, is delivering the goods down the stretch in order to make the playoffs, and it’s up to Teague to do the same.