In a League Loaded with Point Guards, Jeff Teague Shows his Worth
After a slow start, Jeff Teague has established himself as the pure point guard the Indiana Pacers needed.
Jeff Teague is hopefully the future of the Indiana Pacers at the point guard position, but how we go here goes beack to 2011.he Indiana Pacers had the 15th overall pick. Larry Bird who has been known to be quite the
The Indiana Pacers had the 15th overall pick. Larry Bird who has been known to be quite the drafter, hit gold on another under the radar prospect by the name of Kawhi Leonard. Instead of talking about what could have been I’ll speak about what was. He then moved Kawhi for George Hill which could only be looked at as a solid move at the time. George was a pretty good point guard for the Pacers, unspectacular and solid. Even after two conference finals appearances with the way the league was shifting solid was no longer good enough. Pacers fans wanted more, so just last off season, Larry went all in on a different type of play style.
“It’s no secret — I want us to score more points,” Bird told the IndyStar’s Gregg Doyel after the Pacers lost 89-84 to the Raptors in Game 7. “If you’d told me we’d score 84 points … You can’t go very far in the playoffs if you don’t score,” Bird continued. “When I tell people this, it’s not because I think I know it all — it’s because I experienced it as a player.”
Soon after the Hometown Hero was gone in a trade, but he was replaced by another hometown hero as he was sent to Utah and Jeff Teague came to Indiana.
The New Era with Jeff Teague
From one Hoosier born star to another Bird hoped to transition into a new era for the Pacers. It was sad to see George Hill go but very excited to get younger and faster on offense. It is no secret that the first few games were a struggle for Teague.
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The transition to a new team for any point guard typically has its bumps in the road. Especially for somebody going back to their hometown. Since then though he is averaging career highs in both assists and rebounds.
Although his stats are mostly similar to previous years it hasn’t necessarily translated to wins. But sometimes you can only do so much with a flawed roster. Teague ranks in the top 15 in PER ahead of points such as Goran Dragic, Derrick Rose, and his replacement Dennis Schroder. His estimated wins added also falls just outside the top 10. This time beating out the previous Pacer point guard George Hill. In every category in Hollinger’s advanced metrics, Teague ranks in or just outside the top 10.
Teague an Important Part to Pacer Success
When watching the Indiana Pacers you can tell that Teague sets the tone offensively. He is a lightening bolt on the court. When the Pacers offense looks best is when Jeff is in constant attack mode. Grabbing an outlet pass and flying down the court for a quick bucket or a nifty pass. He thrives in the open court and can run pick and roll effectively in the half court.
With that being said the Pacers often times become stagnant when he is not attacking. I understand that with Paul and Myles a large part of the offense needs to run through them. But it is important for Teague to realize that he makes this team even more dangerous when he is consistently attacking and putting pressure on the defense. He was averaging nearly 10 assists a game during the Pacers last winning streak.
Considering the type of challenges faced when moving teams, especially for a point guard. The fact that Jeff Teague is very close, if not already a top 10 point guard is very impressive. Not to mention this crop of floor generals are by far the best we have ever seen.
He is also just 28 years old so many would say he is right in the thick or his prime. Although Jeff Teague is a free agent in the offseason. He should absolutely be in the Pacers plans moving forward as they build around Myles Turner and Paul George.