Carol Teague will be smiling in a big way on Saturday night. For the first time in their NBA careers and their basketball careers at any level, Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague and Chicago Bulls rookie guard Marquis Teague will face-off in a competitive basketball game. The big question is what to expect when they finally get to square off.
On the Hawks side, older brother Jeff Teague is in the midst of the best season of his young career, averaging career-highs in points (13.0), assists (6.3), 3-point percentage (37.7%), and PER (16.26). He has established himself as a sure-fire starting NBA point guard, and at age 24, he’s still improving into potentially an upper-echelon player at the position. He’s also averaging over 31 minutes per game, so there is zero doubt about whether we’ll see Jeff on Saturday night.
For young brother Marquis, things are a bit less clear. The rookie point guard is basically a mirror image of Jeff in size and stature, with very similar games. As a rookie, he has struggled a bit, shooting just 36% from the field in limited action, and has posted a fairly woeful 8.51 PER on the young season. Also, he’s only appeared in 12 games for Chicago, so there’s a distinct possibility that the two siblings will never share the court during live action on Saturday. With that said, there are already whispers that he’s even more athletic than Jeff, and that the Bulls may have struck gold with their 29th overall pick last season. He’s admittedly raw, but there seems to be some flashes of upside with Marquis.
While there’s no doubt that Jeff is the far superior and more established player at this stage, let’s not forget their age/experience disparity. As a rookie, Jeff also struggled out of the gate, posting a 11.07 PER (lowest of his career by far), and shot under 40% for the season while playing only 10 minutes a game behind more established guards. We won’t truly know about Marquis and his NBA ceiling for a couple of years, but if he follows the path that Jeff has (and that seems likely), we could have dueling top-15 point guards in the Teague family.
The feeling of playing in an NBA game against your brother is one that the great majority of the league will never deal with, but it seems that the feeling before Saturday’s game is more of excitement than anything else. Marquis Teague was quoted (by ESPNChicago.com’s Nick Friedell) as saying, “It’s something we’re proud of. We worked hard our whole lives to get to this point.”
Congratulations to the Teague family, and I’m sure that anyone near Carol Teague during the game on Saturday night in Philips Arena will be a witness to a huge grin. Let’s just hope that she’s wearing a Hawks jersey.