When he's gotten to play, Jeff Teague has had an encouraging sophomore season. Especially considering the lack of development he received in his rookie campaign. Teague's scoring rate is down slightly this season but he's been much more efficient both by shooting better from the field and by increasing his free throw rate.
|Jeff Teague||Pts/36||TS%||eFG%||2PTFG%||3PTFG%||FT Rate|
Small improvements in Teague's rebound, assist, and turnover rates have helped also:
Teague's defensive numbers are more of a mixed bag. He's second* on the team in steal rate and fourth on the team in blocked shot rate (behind only Josh Smith, Al Horford, and Zaza Pachulia) but the team is allowing 4.8 more points per 100 possessions with him on the court than with him on the bench. How much of that is due to the impact of garbage time or playing the bulk of his minutes when Josh Powell and/or Jamal Crawford are also on the court is an open question. The Hawks were slightly better defensively with Teague on the floor last season.
*Third if you include Damien Wilkins.
None of the above are great numbers, but it's hard to knock demonstrable improvement in irregular minutes. Teague's PER so far this season is 13.6. Below average, but better than Mike Bibby has managed so far this season. Or last season, for that matter.
All in all, I don't think Teague has been so untrustworthy in his play as to have a graph of his (game-by-game) minutes played this season look like this:
Jordan Crawford hasn't played a single minute since Joe Johnson had elbow surgery. Etan Thomas has dressed instead of Crawford the Younger four of the last five games. Crawford showed flashes of NBA talent in the 100 minutes he played over the first 18 games of the season, primarily through a decent scoring rate and high usage rate (though his scoring efficiency was poor). That's the sort of profile a young player could build on. And he needn't build on it in the NBA. If he's not a part of the team's immediate plans, Crawford seems an ideal candidate for a D-League stint. He won't struggle to get shots at any level of basketball.
The Hawks went to the bother of buying out Pape Sy's contract this Summer but he still hasn't played a single minute of professional basketball in North America. Sy missed 18 games due to a back injury and hasn't dressed for the other eight games the Hawks have played. I seriously doubt Sy is an NBA player right now so with the warm, comforting veteran-ness of Damien Wilkins safely ensconced in the rotation, wouldn't it make sense to familiarize Sy with Provo, UT and get a better idea of what exactly the Hawks have gotten themselves into?