2014 NBA Playoffs: Atlanta Hawks’ Jeff Teague Is Coming Into His Own
Could Jeff Teague be emerging into a potential star for the Atlanta Hawks? Teague is already a great player, but after witnessing him perform in the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs, he might be destined for even bigger things. The versatile point guard of the Hawks is not only becoming a star player for his own team, he’s starting to turn heads all over the league with his performances against the Indiana Pacers.
The miracle three-pointer he heaved up in the fourth quarter last night may have grabbed the headlines, but for the majority of this series Teague has been an all-star. Indiana has had no answer for the point guard’s quick first step and dribble penetration despite having the second best ranked defense in the league in terms of points per game allowed. It doesn’t matter who coach Frank Vogel decides to put on him either.
George Hill gave it his best in Game 1, but he was no match at all for the Atlanta floor general. Teague went off for 28 points on 9-for-19 shooting from the field, and dished out five assists in order for the Hawks to steal the first game of the series. Hill was so bad at keeping him out of the paint, coach Vogel was forced to make a change. It was time for Paul George, who is a premier defender, to get his crack at the lightning quick point guard next.
George did a decent job in game two, but he still didn’t necessarily shut him down. Teague managed to put up 14 points, which was good for second on the team. The real problem in game two for the Hawks was that they didn’t provide any help at all for their two stars, Teague and Paul Millsap. The other three starters only scored an unbelievable 13 points combined, and the bench failed to show up as well. Game three was a different story, though.
In front of the home crowd at Philips Arena, Teague shined again. The Pacers thought they had found an answer for the Atlanta point guard by putting George on him, but man were they ever wrong. Teague was a nightmare for Indiana last night. He went off for 22 points and dished out 10 assists in order to take a 2-1 series lead over Indiana. However, the best part about his performance is that he became the first player in the 2014 NBA Playoffs to record over 20 points and 10 assists.
If that doesn’t tell you something about Teague’s emergence as a potential star, I don’t know what will. With other point guards such as Chris Paul, Damian Lillard and Tony Parker in the playoffs, the fact that Teague is the first to do such a thing is remarkable. This tells me the Hawks’ point guard is starting to come into his own, and if he continues to progress at this rate we could all be watching a player on the brink of stardom.
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