Atlanta Hawks and Jeff Teague Displaying Unselfish Team Basketball

Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

Jeff Teague is playing quite well this season, if I do say so myself. The funny thing is, he could be playing even better.

Shortly after Danny Ferry had matched Teague’s offer sheet with Milwaukee, I was quick to call Teague out. From the whole “passive Teague” thing to just his play in general last season, I wasn’t excited to see him locked in for four more years.

I’m really glad I was wrong.

JT is averaging nearly 20/10/3 so far this season, something I didn’t see coming at all. The really shocking thing is that he’s only shooting 43% from the field and 26% from deep. He can improve his shot and become a better scorer, which is very intriguing. One thing that frustrates me is his, and everyone on the Hawks (and around the league for that matter), failure to use the glass on floaters and shots just outside of the restricted area. The glass is there for a reason! Use it! Paul Millsap is another Hawk who loves to tickle the twine from close range, but what they don’t realize is that, while it’s not as “sexy” to bank a shot, it’s more effective.  Uh oh, I’m rambling again. Let’s move on

Jeffrey Demarco Teague just keeps rolling out good passing night after good passing night. Six double-doubles after 9 games is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, I’m quite excited! The man known as #insaniTEAGUE also leads the Eastern Conference in assists per game with 9.88 and he trails only fellow Demon Deacon Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Lobbers Clippers (12.78).

I want to look at some of his statistics during certain points in the offense. Per Synergy Sports, Teague does a very nice job in transition, shooting 63.6% from the floor. Not surprising, but good to see your quick point guard is playing well on the run. In isolation, JT is shooting 40%. Yeah, so he’s not Melo, we knew that already, but, hey, 40% isn’t horrible! As the pick-and-roll ball-handler, the ball hits the bottom of the net 39.4% of the time. I’m not a big fan of that number, but considering how half the time he dishes it to Al for a good look I’m not going to cry just yet. Let’s just say I wish it were a little higher. Lastly, Teague is 57% from beyond the three-point arc coming off screens. 57%! Sure, it’s just 4-7, but I am quite impressed. Are we sure these aren’t Kyle Korver’s stats? (Extremely fun fact: I typed that Korver line as a joke, but guess what? Korver is shooting 57% on off-screen three’s! Hold the applause please.)

As a whole, the team is showing off their mad passing skills on a nightly basis, averaging 27 assists per game, which is good for the top spot in the Association. FIRST IN THE ENTIRE LEAGUE! Doesn’t that make you want to stand up and dance?

Coach Mike Budenholzer’s “Pace and Space” offense requires unselfish play and finding the most efficient shot possible. Atlanta leads the league in assist/turnover ratio at 2.00(2 assists for every turnover), proving Bud’s emphasis on ball control and smart ball distribution.

UPDATED: Wow wow wow wow wow wow wow. Jeff Teague had a career night against the Philadelphia 76ers. 33 points, 10 assists, and 4 rebounds is enough to make me salivate. Well, maybe not that far, but I’m quite ecstatic. He went to the free throw line 13 times, sinking all but one. That makes consecutive games with double-digit free throw makes. “Aggressive Teague” is in full force and Hawks fans everywhere are smiling (or at least they should be).

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Tags: Atlanta Hawks Jeff Teague Mike Budenholzer Passing WOW

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