The Atlanta Hawks are a team of players your average fan may not know, but should definitely learn about. The point guard position in the NBA is deepest position in the NBA. Just this past offseason, Coach K couldn’t decide between Steph Curry, Derrick Rose, Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, and John Wall. First thing first, I would love any of these guys to be my point guard of the Hawks. So the elite guards are stacked, but the list stays tight all the way to the bottom.
For example, the Spurs have been said by many that they are not the team they could be because Patty Mills is out right now. Patty Mills! The World Champions are not where they could be because they are missing a back up point guard? The answer is yes. With veterans like Kirk Hinrich, Luke Ridenour, Aaron Brooks, and Jameer Nelson still playing important minutes, and young guys like Patrick Beverly that play great defense and get the elite players the ball, its clear this position runs deep throughout the league. That depth even further signifies the importance of getting solid play from this position in order to make a team mold and compete. Besides, what is the point of an elite player if nobody can get him the ball?
The Hawks play a 3-headed monster at point guard. The leader of the pack is Jeff Teague. Teague has improved over the years, but still makes getting to the rim, running the floor, and hitting set 3-point shots his bread and butter. He deserves his spot as #1 on the depth chart. While some would say that Dennis Schroder deserves a shot to take the starting gig, especially after seeing that amazing dunk he had on Tim Duncan, but I disagree. Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder should be on the floor together. With Jeff Teague’s shifty speed and ability to run the floor, combined with Schroder’s court vision and patience, we could have one of the best PG tandems in our backcourt in the very near future. Let’s face it; the NBA is changing. There is one elite shooting guard in the NBA (besides Kobe) in Klay Thompson and only a handful of true Power Forwards left, considering even Serge Ibaka is hitting 3 pointers on the regular now.
Most NBA teams like 2 guys that can handle the ball, and then get the ball to the athletes running the floor. Just last off-season, a healthy Oklahoma City Thunder team traded us Thabo Sefolosha because even they run a two-point guard system with Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson. With a two-point guard system, the only major issue a team may run into is not having that 3rd point guard to come off the bench. The Hawks, however, have that covered with the consistent and fundamentally sound Shelvin Mack. For those of you that don’t know Shelvin Mack, he was a Gordon Hayward half court shot away from a National Championship with Butler, and then led a Hayward-less Butler team back to the title game the following year. Shelvin has been through all the ups and downs of the NBA but is a hard-working leader on the court that provides the needed consistency off the bench. He won’t give you a lot of highlight reel dunks, or threes from Jimmer range, but you can bank on him to hit the open mid-range jumper and will NOT turn the ball over. That is big for any point guard in the Association.
I know most people want to see a Derrick Rose, or a Kyrie Irving type player to really be happy with the Hawks point guard situation. But a point guard’s job isn’t to break ankles, throw no look passes, or throw down highlight dunks, although the National Media will certainly pay more attention to you with that type of play. A point guards job is to make their team better by not turning over the ball, consistently facilitating the offense and getting the best players the ball to score, when he isn’t able to do so on his own. With our current point guard situation, the Hawks are in great position to compete with plenty of teams in their conference and in the league as a whole. In this holiday season, as a fan, I am thankful for the opportunity to watch young point guards like Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder grow up in Coach Bud’s new system, and I am excited the see what the “Spurs of the East” (Atlanta Hawks) have to offer this season and for many seasons to come. If you haven’t tuned in to see these point guards play, you need to, because you don’t want to be that guy in the office saying,” The Hawks are in the playoffs? Who is even on that team?” Because lets be honest, any real Atlanta fan hates that guy.