In their overtime loss to the Celtics last night, just about every member of the Atlanta Hawks besides Paul Millsap played like dogshit. One of the chief offenders was point guard Jeff Teague, who shot a dismal 4-18, and had just five assists to three turnovers. He missed almost every shot as the game seesawed, and then all of a sudden, in the final minute, became Mr. Clutch:
Unfortunately for the Hawks, Teague’s clutchi-ness lasted for just the 30 seconds encompassing those three-pointers. With the game tied at 92, the Hawks took a timeout and drew up a play. Whatever Mike Budenolzer drew up, Teague ran perhaps the worst possible final possession you can imagine, short of a turnover:
The Hawks—who cling to an anti-superstar, team first identity more than any other team—certainly shouldn’t be playing heroball on their final possession. And even if they did want Teague to go it alone, he started dribbling much too late, eliminating the drive as a legitimate option against noted non-elite defender Isaiah Thomas, forcing him to put up a wild three-point attempt (that he couldn’t even get off properly).
Teague’s attempted game-winner was a preview of his overtime performance, where he attempted five of the Hawks’ 11 shots, making one and missing the other four. They lost by nine, 104-95.
Teague wasn’t The Reason the Hawks lost. The non-Millsap, non-Teague Hawks shot a putrid 14-51, and in overtime it was Amir Johnson and the undersized Celtics front-line that dominated (though point guards Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Smart drove the Celtics in regulation). But with the series now tied 2-2, Teague will have to play much better for the Hawks to pull this off.