Apr 28, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague (0) loses a ball out of bounds against the Indiana Pacers in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Hawks rumors: Jeff Teague is the key

The Atlanta Hawks sneaked into the playoffs and pushed the top-seeded Indiana Pacers to seven games before bowing out in the first round. They did it all without their best player, center Al Horford, who missed most of the season with a torn right pectoral muscle.

Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders believes Teague was the key to the Hawks’ season last year and could be again this year.

Without their best player last season in Al Horford, the Hawks were able to make a run at the playoffs led by first-year head coach Mike Budenhozler. His system of ball movement fits precisely into maximizing Teague’s potential. The eighth-seeded Hawks pushed the top-seeded Pacers to the brink of elimination last season and Teague was key in the Hawks’ approach. Teague led the Hawks in scoring in three games by scoring 28, 22 and 29 during those games and averaged 19.3 points during the seven-game series. With Horford returning next season for the Hawks, Teague’s efficiency should only improve and his assists should increase from 6.7 as well.

With Horford returning to team with Teague and big man Paul Millsap, the Hawks could see great improvement this season.

Teague averaged 16.5 points, 6.7 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 43.8% from the field, 32.9% from beyond the arc and 84.6% from the free throw line. In his five-year NBA career, the 19th-overall pick of the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft, has put up 10.6 points, 4.6 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 44.7% from the floor, 34.0% from three and 83.1% from the charity stripe.

Be sure to check FanSided’s official NBA page to keep up to date on the latest news and rumors from around the league all summer long.

Tags: Atlanta Hawks Jeff Teague NBA Rumors

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