Following a season-high 20 point performance in a loss to the Miami Heat Friday night, Jeff Teague came into Sunday evening’s matchup with a stage set at Staples Center to build on what’s already being forecast and proven as one of the leagues brightest breakout campaigns.
Heading into what would ultimately prove to be a trying contest for both teams, Teague had posted career highs across the board with 16.3 points and 7.3 assists on a staggering 60% a clip.
Not to mention his PER of 21.81 had him ranked 3rd among point guards, ironically right behind his matchup on the night Chris Paul.
Paul, performing in usual fashion for the Los Angeles Clippers this season, has posted 17.5 points and 10.7 assist per game. Making him the standard of excellence at floor general to which we can gauge emerging talents such as Teague.
So how exactly did Teague measure up? Well, not as well as we would have liked. At least not Sunday night.
While neither player had a particularly effective outing by their standards, Teague was particularly timid on offense as he settled more often than not and only connected on 3 of his 8 field goals attempted. Although we did see his stoke from beyond the arc continue its upward trend as he connected on 2 of his 4 attempts.
His lack of aggression led to a pedestrian passing performance where he committed 4 turnovers to his 6 assists and ultimately allowed the Clippers to pressure Atlanta’s outside shooters. Even though they still managed to convert a very commendable 9 of 25 from downtown.
However at the other end we saw Paul convert 7 of his 12 field goal attempts for 15 points and only gave up one turnover on his 8 assists for the night.
It was more or less just a tale of Paul’s efficiency and the Teague’s lack thereof that makes Paul the winner in this one.
That said, this was clearly a disjointed game for both squads and they both lacked any significant momentum for most of the game.
I’d look for Teague to bounce back in a big way tonight against rookie Damian Lillard in Portland.