The Hawks have only won two games through the first two weeks of March but they've both been genuinely enjoyable victories.
Larry Drew on Jeff Teague:
"He was absolutely sensational from start to finish on both ends of the floor. Defensively he did a great job of picking the ball up and harassing the ball. His speed and his quickness is just something we don’t have. When we put him in games we rely on him to be a nuisance defensively and offensively just to stay in the attack mode."His speed and quickness is something the Hawks have had for almost two full seasons and, for almost two full seasons, two head coaches have chosen not to utilize it for reasons that are not obvious given his age, draft position, and on-court performance. Perhaps that has now changed permanently.
Now, I'll admit that I thought Andrew Miller would dominate Teague in the post and we'd witness a repeat of a rusty Teague's embarrassment at the hands of Chris Paul. Larry Drew got it right last night.
"I am hoping this will be kind of a springboard for him. It’s been kind of an up-and-down season for him. He’s played some minutes, he’s started a few games, and he’s gone stretches where he hasn’t played. But during that stretch I never stopped believing in that kid because I saw the package that he brings. He can make shots, he’s got speed, he’s got quickness, he can go from end to end. Defensively he can be a nuisance.I'm just speculating, but I'm guessing the 10 DNP-CDs and 10 more appearances that lasted less than five minutes might have, possibly, adversely affected Teague's confidence.
It’s important that he keeps believing in himself because I will never lose the belief in him. I’m committed to him. I know that at times he shows signs of a lack of confidence. For whatever reason, I don’t know, because I recognize the fact that this kid if he’s playing at a level I know he can he can be pretty good and tonight he showed that. I just have to keep being that little birdie on his shoulder and keep letting him know how good he can be for our team."
"It felt great to get an opportunity to get out here and play, something I’ve wanted to do all year."Teague:
"Coach told us to get up there and put on the pressure and try to overplay the passing lanes and make something happen. I got my hands on a couple of the balls. I got lucky."Nate MacMillan on Teague's spectacular steal-free throw, steal-dunk, steal-three stretch over the final 12 seconds of the first quarter:
"Those possessions at the end of the first quarter changed things."Wesley Matthews (I think he just beat Joe Johnson on another back-door cut) on Jeff Teague:
"Jeff Teague had a great game. He played the passing lane well and was really active and caused some problems for us."Teague had five steals and three blocks in 44:18 last night. Compared to his fellow Hawk guards:
Per 100 on-court possessions, that looks like:
Among Hawks this season, Teague trails only Josh Smith (2.56) and Al Horford (1.55) in BS/100 possessions and Teague has a higher defensive rebounding rate than both Johnson and Damien Wilkins, as well.
Drew on Atlanta's decent success against Portland's zone:
"We actually went back to our man-to-man offense against the zone which turned out to be pretty good."