The Atlanta Hawks were ousted in the first round by the top-seeded Indiana Pacers. After a fascinating seven-round battle with the top seed, there have been arguments back and forth on whether it was a successful 2013-2014 campaign for the Atlanta Hawks; some say they had overachieved, some say they underachieved. Over the next couple weeks, we will break down the Hawks season and we will dish out grades for each of the Hawks players. Who played well, who was a disappointment, who will be back next year? We will dish out everything you want to hear about the Hawks past season, and what is to come ahead.
First, some quick requirements. We will only feature players that played in at least 10 games with the Hawks this season, so sorry Jeremy Tyler, James Nunnally, and Antawn Jamison; you were all part of the exciting journey in some capacity, but that is all the pub you will get in our season recaps.
Being evaluated today is point guard, Jeff Teague.
Whatever cliche you would like to use for Teague’s season; you can feel free to take your pick from any of them. Roller coaster ride, up and down, his game is like a box of chocolate because you never know what you are going to get. Whichever one you would like to use, feel free to borrow any of them. Whatever way you slice it, Teague was wildly inconsistent this season for the Atlanta Hawks. From the get-go the question could be asked, if Teague was really excited to be on the Hawks this season. Teague signed a 4 year 32 million dollar offer sheet from the Milwaukee Bucks this past summer, but the Hawks decided to match the offer-sheet after losing Josh Smith to free-agency. The Hawks really did not have a back-up plan if they had lost Teague.
Teague’s points per game went up for the fifth straight year, and tossed in 16.5 points per game, but his field goal percentage fell to 43% and 32% from three-point range.
Shinning Moment: Teague had three plus games of 30 points or more which was the most on the team. Teague also tossed in double digits in assists in two of the three games as well. Against Toronto on March 18th, Teague had 34 points 5 assists, 4 steals, and 3 rebounds on 11-18 shooting. On November 15th against the 76ers, Teague had 33 points and 10 assists on 10-16 shooting, and on December 26th, the day the Hawks lost Al Horford for the season, Teague scored 34 points and had 14 assists in 48 minutes against the Cavaliers. In all three of Teague’s outbursts, the Hawks went on to win the game. Teague also scored 28 points in the game 1 victory of the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Letter Grade: B- The scoring was up, but the assists were down and Teague turned the ball over at an extremely high rate again this year at almost 3 per contest. Teague played in 79 of the teams 82 games, which was a huge boost for a team that was riddled with injuries, but I think most fans would have hoped that Teague could have been a bit more consistent. Teague had 17 games where he missed more than 10 shots, which is quite a bit more than you would want to see from your point guard in a ball movement offense. Teague also had two games where he played nearly 20 minutes without making a field goal. I may be a bit critical of Teague’s season, but that is simply because he seemed to get better every year of his career, but seemed to taper off this year and seemed to level off, which is to be expected in your fifth year in the league, but the fact that some of Teague’s most important offensive numbers went down after signing a huge contract was a big of a disappointment.
2014-2015 season outlook: Although there were some rumors about Teague being moved around the trade-deadline, I think we can chalk that up to New York Media conjecture. The main reason why I dont believe Teague would be traded, is simply because the Hawks do not have anyone that is currently ready to replace him. I think we can all agree that some of Teague’s struggles might have to do with losing his number one target for the year, when Horford went down. Horford was a security blanket of sorts for Teague, as well as a space creator. Hopefully we can see Teague getting back to making a higher percent of his shoots, including three-point field goals. You would also really like to see the turnovers decrease and the assists get back to where they were in the 2012-2013 season.