This is a huge year for Jeff Teague. After the Hawks matched the offer sheet that he had signed in Milwaukee, they made it known that they are putting faith in him to run this new system. There was some bad blood during the free agency period, but Teague talked about how that’s behind him now. “It’s definitely in the past. I’m happy to be here in an Atlanta uniform, [and] glad to be part of this whole movement we had. I think coach Bud’s going to be great for all of us,” Teague said when addressing the summer.
The Hawks have been big on changing the culture with Danny Ferry and Mike Budenholzer, and it is starting to take shape of an organization that is similar to the Spurs. “Definitely, open gym has been really great for us. Everybody’s good guys here, [and] they’re a joy to be around. Nobody has a bad attitude or anything like that,” Teague added in regards to the team buying in to the new regime.
Cynics would have you believe that Dennis Schröder was drafted to eventually replace Teague, but Schröder told me Teague has been great to him, and Teague was all in favor of his back up. “He’s really good for being 19 years old. He’s very mature, you can tell he’s played professional before, and he works hard,” Teague proclaimed about the young point guard.
Teague will have the opportunity to have the ball in his hands a lot, and he told me that he fits that system well, “Yeah, definitely. I love playing with the ball in my hands, so that’s always the best situation for me. Pick and rolls make the game so much easier with Al [Horford] having the ability to play the pick and pop, and shooters like Kyle [Korver and Lou [Williams], and guys like that who can make shots. It makes my job a lot easier.” Teague will have a lot of mid-range shots available to him this season much like Tony Parker. “Definitely, hopefully it’s falling. It’s just about shooting them. If you shoot 3 a game and you miss 2, then you’re going to look terrible. It’s just about having the confidence coming down and knocking them down,” Jeff said when I asked him about shooting from mid-range.
Teague’s overall demeanor was positive, and he seems genuinely excited for this season. He knows his importance, and he was communicating with a lot of the team during the entire media session.
Check out all of our media day coverage here.