I don't want to beat a hypothetical debate among friends into the ground so I promise this will be my last post on the subject, but Larry's lengthy response to my first post deserves a response. But you need to read his post because I am only glancingly going to reference it as I address his points.
I am putting the break early in case you would rather discuss screen switching than this little conversation.
- Mo Evans is borderline horrible at guarding elite small forwards. So I don't want him starting a game against the LeBrons and Paul Pierces of the world. Marvin does not shut those guys down, but he slows them down, and iIt is much easier to stop PG with help defense than 250 pound wrecking balls.
- On Mike Bibby setting up the offense, I can only say this. He is no Steve Nash or Chauncey Billups, and the Hawks offense is not PG heavy by any means, but I have sat very close to the court and watched Mike Bibby bark out orders. He does run things, and running things does not require having the ball in your hands or dishing assists. If I can can give but one semi-related example to how a veteran point guard is important to start a game, early in the first quarter of the Bucks game Joe Johnson sat planted and calling for the ball at the three point line on a semi break, and Bibby waited for Marvin to show open on the baseline. Bibby hit Marvin because it was more important for Marvin to get his shot, see it go in, than it was for Joe. That is a veteran move. If I can give a second example, Jeff Teague has dished zero alley-oops. Which leads too..
- Jeff Teague is bad right now. He has played bad. Any stats you use PER, wins shares, plus minus, adjusted plus/minus. They are all bad. We get excited based on the flashes of good, but Jeff Teague has been much, much worse than Mike Bibby. You can blame it on inexperience, but you can't make things up to rationalize why he would be good starting. So again, I say give the guy more minutes, let him grow, but it is just crazy to say give the guy more minutes as the starter. You prove your way into the starting line up. All Jeff Teague has proved is he is faster and more athletic than Bibby which most of us knew the day he was drafted.
- Teague has very little confidence out there. He does not know when to try and finish or when to shoot the jumper. Again, experience...yes. Start...why?
- The good Jeff Teague might bring to the team, as in, the flashes of great he shows will be just as beneficial from the bench. The things he brings do not help what most of want to see at the start of games which is establishing the front court and good ball movement. Joe Johnson wants to shoot the ball every time down the floor. We might say Mike Bibby does not do a good enough telling Joe not to shoot, but imagine Jeff Teague out there. You can't expect more entry passes into the post with Teague can you? Or Joe kicking it the extra pass because he knows Jeff is waiting to shoot the three? And again, the Hawks are not bad to start games.
- We don't know our Mike Bibby ceiling. The Hawks are better than they were last year. And we can only know what we see in the regular season and that is that Hawks can beat or compete with anyone in the league but Orlando. Saying Jeff Teague starting (starting is the argument here, not playing more starting. We are talking about starting? Starting?) is going to help us beat Orlando is dealing in such hypothetical non-proven reality based on zero facts I don't even know how to argue against it.
- Finally, even if Jeff Teague gets experience and is really good, the NBA playoffs come around I want our most experienced and still decent playoff performer starting games, not our 22 year old rookie who has sucked in the limited minutes he has received. The playoffs are a different animal. Jeff Teague sometimes does not look ready against the Clippers.
- Rafer Alston started for the Orlando Magic in the playoffs last year.
- I can say with confidence, Mike Bibby starting, him actually being on the court at the tip, has cost the Hawks zero games this year.
I really like Teague. I like the upside he has displayed. I really want to see him get more minutes, I want him to start next year, but if you base things on history, the recent (Jeff has not been good this year) or the normative (rookie point guards don't take teams far in the playoffs), there is no need to make a change (a change that does not solve the main problem with the team) based on hopes and assumptions. And there ends my closing argument. Cheers to Larry for making an off day entertaining.