Hawks starting point guard Jeff Teague popped his wrist last night against Milwaukee. He only played 18 minutes, no word yet if he will sit out upcoming games.
Teague was 2 for 8 from the field, 5 points and 5 assists in the Hawks loss.
Teague has had an inconsistent season. He occasionally flashes the All-Star talent we saw last season. Mostly he has been a slightly above average player.
In contrast, back-up point guard Dennis Schroder had a great game last night. He was 10 of 19 from the field, including 3 of 8 from 3-point range. Schroder had 10 assists and was 2 rebounds short of a triple double. Those are All-Pro numbers.
Schroder’s aggressiveness and offense led the Hawks back late in the game and into the overtime. He made the basket on a driving layup with a few seconds left that sent the game into the first overtime.
This Hawks team needs a shake-up if it is going to accomplish anything significant this season. The trade deadline only produced Kirk Hinrich, in other words, a major change is still needed.
NBA basketball is won by skill and athleticism. The Hawks have skilled players, but lack in athleticism and also length. They are the smallest team in the NBA. Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Kent Bazemore are beaten on the glass nearly every night.
The only Hawks player that consistently has an athletic advantage against his opponent is Dennis Schroder. With his quickness, athleticism and explosiveness, he can beat his opponent off the dribble. Schroder disrupts the opponent’s offense on the defensive end.
Schroder brings an energy to a team that badly needs energy. He also brings the ability to break down the defense and create open shots. A big problem for the Hawks is their opponents’ have figured out the offense. The Hawks also aren’t running it anywhere near as well as they did last season.
Head coach Mike Budenholzer needs to give Schroder the reins to this team. Yes, he can be inconsistent and mistake-prone. He also has the largest upside of any player on the Hawks roster. If the Hawks are going to make noise the rest of this season and into the playoffs, it will be on Schroder’s back.
Keep Teague as the ceremonial starter so his ego isn’t too bruised. Play Schroder 30+ minutes and give this Hawks team the shot it needs.