Jeff Teague's Emergence In NBA Playoffs A Boon To Atlanta Hawks

Jeff Teague has responded positively to receiving the Atlanta Hawks' starting point guard job due to Kirk Hinrich's hamstring strain, averaging 15.5 points, 4 assists, and 0.5 turnovers in Atlanta's second-round playoff series against the Chicago Bulls. Prior to the start of the series, I figured Teague would fade into the background, ceding possessions and playing time to Jamal Crawford.

Whoops.

Instead, Teague has sat for a grand total of 11:44 in this series, so he's not losing playing time. And though he's shooting less often, on a per-minute basis, than he did in the regular season, he's nonetheless turned heads with his willingness to take the Bulls' league-leading defense head-on. Kinda like he did on this play from Game 2.

The second-year point guard isn't a world-beater by any means, but his aggressive defense of the Bulls' Derrick Rose, coupled with his ability to minimize mistakes (just one turnover in the series) has made him valuable to Hawks coach Larry Drew, who must feel like he found a five-dollar bill in his pocket, as Drew rarely called Teague's number this season.

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