Is Marquis Teague NBA-ready?
Now Teague is a natural point guard, someone who a coach can trust to take care of the basketball and get it where it needs to be. He’s developing at a different rate than his talented predecessors at Kentucky before him did, but he’s got the national championship ring that eluded them and a lot of promise in his own right.
Where Teague thrives at right now is in transition. He has a lot of speed and is tough to stop when he gets in the open court. His game, in transition and the half court, would benefit a lot from the addition of a reliable runner or floater to go to when the lane is packed. At times Teague will over penetrate and try to finish over length when there are much easier shots available.
Teague’s success in the league early on is going to be determined by where he ends up. He’s coming in the league at the right time since there are a lot of teams who like to get up and down and push the tempo. Teague can play the role of a backup brought in to up the pace right now.
He’ll need some time, like his older brother Jeff Teague of the Atlanta Hawks, to get to the point where he can run a team as a starter. Teague struggles with his decision-making in the half court. It’s not that he gets overly aggressive like Rivers, he just makes the wrong read or gets caught up in trying to do too much. With good coaching and hard work, that can be improved upon.
Where Teague will also need to make strides is with his shooting and defending. Having a respectable jump shot will make creating for others easier because defenders won’t be able to back up off of him. His defense will be tried every night. This is a golden era for point guard play. It’s unrealistic to ask Teague to shut guys down; he just needs to contain them and keep them from erupting for huge games. He also can’t be lax off of the ball. He got burned often in college when playing too far off of his man and allowing him to spot up or have too much space off of a screen.
There’s certainly no lack of upside with Teague, or Rivers and Jones for that matter. They all hold great promise. Rivers may be the only one ready to make his impact felt right away, but down the line the trio could end up being some of the best this class has to offer.