In the middle of the Atlanta Hawks' woeful 99-80 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers last Friday, coach Larry Drew let point guard Jeff Teague have it. During halftime, Drew pulled Teague aside and told him that the team needed far more out of the position (via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution):
"When he's not bringing the energy, it's my job to let him know," Drew said. "I told him he was not bringing energy. For whatever reason, it was not there and he needed to bring it. He didn't have a good night that night but he came back the following night against Chicago and I thought he played much, much better.
"It all starts with him. ... That point guard position is a very high energized position. I've made him aware of it and I'll continue to make him aware of it. I need energy from that spot. When he brings it, he makes us an effective ball club."
Teague scored just five points and had three assists in 22 minutes in the loss to the Sixers. But the next night against the Chicago Bulls, the point guard stepped up with 11 points and eight assists in a 92-75 victory. On Wednesday against the Detroit Pistons, Teague had 17 points and 11 assists in a 126-119 double-overtime victory. Nine of those points came in the second overtime.
Teague has been enjoying a pretty solid year overall for the Hawks, who hold the third-best record in the Eastern Conference. He's currently averaging career-highs in points (13.6), assists (6.5) and three-point percentage (.385). The point guard is also matching career-highs in rebounds (2.4) and steals (1.6).