"I want to see more production. I want to see more consistency, and that has not been the case. He has shown flashes of being a consistent player but for whatever reason I haven’t gotten the consistency from him."Jeff Teague has played 494 minutes in 42 of Atlanta's 51 games. In 16 of the 42 games in which Teague has appeared, he's played fewer than 10 minutes. In 7 of the 42 games in which he's appeared, he's played fewer than 5 minutes. Mike Bibby has played in all 51 games for a total of 1529 minutes. Let's compare their production.
If you weighted the value of their assists, Teague's lead in that column would increase as one-third of his assists this season have set up a teammate's three-point basket. Just 14.5% of Bibby's assists have led to a shot worth three points.
The point isn't how well Jeff Teague has been playing. He hasn't, really. The point is that Mike Bibby, despite his experience, the loyalty of the coaching staff, regular minutes, and the benefit of playing the vast majority of his minutes alongside the team's best players, has not been sufficiently more productive than his second-year teammate.
There's been little in Teague's performance or in his head coach's treatment of him this season that suggests he is the franchise's point guard of the future. That doesn't mean he isn't likely the franchise's best point guard of the present some nights.
Allowing the gulf between the platonic ideal of Jeff Teague's potential and the reality of his play both to limit the return on the 19th pick of the 2009 draft and the maximum possible amount of success for the 2010-11 Atlanta Hawks would be foolish.
For a counter-example, look to Oklahoma City, where Eric Maynor (drafted immediately after Teague and by a different organization), plugs along for 14 minutes a night while barely breaking 50% in terms of TS%, and averaging 11.3 points, 6 assists, and 2.3 turnovers per 36 minutes.
Those numbers look familiar?
For Scott Brooks they're sufficient for a second-year player to back up All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook on a regular basis. How regular? Maynor has played in each of Oklahoma City's 50 games. His season low in minutes in a game is 6:04. He has played at least 10 minutes in 46 of Oklahoma City's 50 games and at least 9 minutes in 48 of 50 games.
An average backup point guard is a quality return on a late first-round pick. Unrealistic expectations shouldn't stand in the way. Especially when the team in question drafted potential ahead of players ready to contribute immediately.