It might seem like a decade ago, but it happened.
Jeff Teague, a seldom used second-year point guard at the time, outplayed Derrick Rose for the first few games during the second round of the 2010-11 Eastern Conference playoffs:
In the Hawks’ first-round win over the Magic, Teague played a measly nine minutes. In Round 2? He has played 85 minutes through the first two games. He has averaged 15.5 points against the Bulls, and at 48.0 percent, he is significantly ahead of Rose (38.9) in shooting percentage. Rose has committed 11 turnovers in the two games. Teague has committed one.
When evaluating the young point guard – and his market value – it’s important that these times aren’t forgotten by the Atlanta Hawks management, namely GM Danny Ferry.
As they head into free agency, the Atlanta Hawks are one of the biggest wild cards in all of the NBA landscape: Big man Al Horford and guards Lou Williams, Jared Cunningham and John Jenkins are the only players on their roster who are on the books for the 2013-14 season, which, naturally, has created buzz regarding perpetually-in-mental-limbo center Dwight Howard possibly leaving the storied Los Angeles Lakers (likely, in one case or another) and heading home, back east, to ATL.
“Any point guard in the NBA would love to play with a dominant center like that,” Teague said last week via telephone. “I guess I can speak for most everybody in the league that they’d like the chance to play with him. He has options and Atlanta has options so hopefully they can figure something out. I know the city of Atlanta loves Dwight and the same goes for Josh and most of the other guys on the team.”
If only it were that simple, Danny Ferry would have handed Howard a fountain pen in a luxury box at Philips Arena as soon as the clock struck 12:01 a.m. this morning.
But it’s not.
Dwight will meet with Atlanta, but the frontrunner for his services is assumed to be the Houston Rockets or Dallas Mavericks, who can pitch Howard on Texas’ freedom from state income tax and a chance to build around the 27-year old center.
While the Hawks would certainly build around Howard, they certainly can’t bank on his commitment.
Which brings us back to Jeff Teague.