Jeff Teague Becoming Hawks Leader?
Jeff Teague will never be the loudest voice on the basketball court. It’s not his disposition. However, you are going to be hearing a lot more from the Hawks point guard this season.
The Hawks coaching staff, including head coach Larry Drew and player development instructor Nick Van Exel, have told Teague he needs to be a more vocal leader. There is so much information that needs to be disseminated with a new up-tempo offense and a slew of new players.
This will be a different season for Teague, who enters his fourth season, in another regard. With all the new additions – and the loss of Joe Johnson – the nature of his position has changed. His job is no longer primarily to bring the ball up court and get it to Johnson on the wing. There is no more Iso-Joe. The Iso and the Joe are gone.
Last season was a breakout season for Teague as he posted career-highs in nearly every statistical category. He averaged 12.6 points, 4.9 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.6 steal playing 33.1 minutes in all 66 regular-season games. He ranked eighth in the NBA in steals (106) and 10th in steals per game.
“This year he is getting a chance to be one of the leaders and one of the vocal leaders to get us involved in the offense and be able to police everybody when the time is needed,” Smith said. “We are going to be looking to him as a scoring option. It’s a new experience for him. I know it’s a challenge but I know he’s ready for it.”