Why Teague is a fit for the Bulls


Why Teague is a fit for the Bulls

I'm not going to try to sell you on a rookie point guard who only spent one year in college and was selected 29th overall in last week's NBA Draft. But what I will tell you is Marquis Teague is not a 'waste of a pick' or a player who can't help the Bulls right now. But it might take some convincing for coach Tom Thibodeau to give this kid a fair shake in practice, considering Thibs isn't exactly a fan of inexperience, especially at the point guard position. But if we can get past our preconceived notions of what a traditional rotation looks like, Teague may play a worthy role here.
First, let's start with the fact that the Bulls, at one point this past season, carried three backup point guards to Derrick Rose, none of whom seemed to be able to carry the load in the end when it mattered most. I've seen enough of the veteran combination of C.J. Watson and John Lucas III in the playoffs to realize that sometimes experience doesn't mean much in crucial situations. I've also seen enough of Kirk Hinrich when he was with the Bulls and elsewhere to shrug at the thought of bringing him back. (I apologize to Hinrich lovers everywhere, but I just don't see it.) So call me crazy, but I actually think Teague is going to play a role next year. He might not be the starting point guard on Opening Night, as the Bulls seem intent on signing a veteran, but he may play himself into a role at some point given the uncertainty of Rose's return date.
Secondly, Teague has talent. It may be somewhat raw right now, but it can be honed and molded into what the Bulls need. I don't see this strictly as a future project. Had Teague stayed in school, he'd be a top ten pick in the draft next year. The way I look at it, Teague is a bargain at No. 29.
Teague's older brother, Jeff, who plays for the Atlanta Hawks, has proven to be a worthy opponent for the Bulls, giving Rose and company fits in the second round of the 2011 Playoffs. Marquis played with his brother many times growing up and, according to their mother Carol, the basketball court is the one place the two get ultra competitive with each other, otherwise they are 'very close.' Marquis has no doubt learned a lot from Jeff, just like he's sure to learn a lot from Rose. Both Teague and Rose were coached by John Calapari. Both have an aggressive, attacking style of play and competitive spirit.
Something tells me they may work well together.
In talking to Thibodeau at the Bulls press conference introducing Teague, I asked him if he sees the game changing, moving away from a traditional style of rotation where you have two guards, two forwards and a center. Could he envision Teague and Rose playing together?
"Absolutely," answered Thibodeau. "You see teams playing two point guards all the time. We may be in a situation where Rose and Teague are on the floor at the same time. The game is changing in that way."
I know what you're thinking. This isn't LeBron and Wade. Rose and Teague are too small to matchup well against bigger opposing lineups. Then again, I sat and watched Jrue Holliday and Lou Williams light up the Bulls in this year's Playoffs while playing at the same time, and those two are fairly undersized. Whatever works at any given time.
The point is, with coaching and development, Teague may be useful to the Bulls next season. He's already following in Rose's footsteps as far as doing what he needs to do to prepare for life in the NBA. His mother tells me that Marquis' older brother Shawn Jr. is going to move in with the Bulls rookie in Chicago to help him adjust to being on his own in a league that can eat you alive if you don't know what you're doing. Much like Derrick's older brother Reggie Rose, Teague will have some one looking out for his best interests so he can focus on improving his game. Being from Indianapolis, Marquis looked up to Rose (Jeff used to play against Derrick in AAU ball) and I have a feeling Rose will embrace the role of mentor well.
While Carol Teague says watching Marquis and Jeff play against each other in the NBA will be "the greatest moment of all," I say watching Rose show Teague the ropes in Chicago may make for some pretty interesting moments as well.
So, keep expectations tempered of course, but don't count Teague out just yet.
My instinct tells me the kid can play.

Under Center Podcast: Bears trounced by Saints, and questions abound

USA Today Sports

Under Center Podcast: Bears trounced by Saints, and questions abound

Laurence Holmes is joined by Olin Kreutz, Matt Forte, Lance Briggs, and Alex Brown to break down the Bears' highly dispiriting 36-25 loss to the Saints at Soldier Field. The guys discuss why the loss was so disappointing and frustrating (2:00), the lack of progress for many players since last year (5:00), the possibility of somebody other than Nagy calling plays (10:00), whether the Bears can save their season and still make the playoffs (14:00), and the massive problems in the run game this season (22:00).

Listen here or via the embedded player below:


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Another lackluster return from Mitch Trubisky leaves the Bears offense in a state of panic

Another lackluster return from Mitch Trubisky leaves the Bears offense in a state of panic

Given Sunday’s parallels to the Bears’ 2018 clunker against the Rams, the spotlight on QB Mitch Trubisky may have been even brighter against the Saints than it usually is – which is saying something. 

Four quarters, 250 yards and one blowout loss later, the only thing that’s changed is that the Bears no longer have the luxury of hiding another subpar performance from their franchise quarterback behind a monstrous, game-changing defense. Trubisky’s numbers against New Orleans look better on paper, but the eye test told a much different – or similar, technically – story. 

“It's hard to pinpoint it,” he said after the 36-25 loss. “Just frustrating, ugly. Couldn't swing momentum in our way – couldn't really get going. Just sputtered out. We've just got to find ways to stay on the field, especially after 3rd down and move the chains and get going."

“I want to go back, watch and see like progression-wise [how he did],” Matt Nagy added. “I know there's one there early in the game where we missed a corner route on 3rd down, and Mitch knows -- he knows that he can connect on that. We've connected on it a lot in practice.” 

That specific miss sums up much of what’s plagued Trubisky through his time in Chicago. On 3rd-and-6, with Taylor Gabriel finding separation on a 20-yard corner route, the QB rushes through his throwing motion and misses an easy first down. 

“I'm going to go back and watch it because that's one of my favorite throws,” Trubisky said. “And I hit that every single time this week in practice, so why it didn't translate to the game is really frustrating for me. I felt like that's an easy throw that I make easily, and I just wasn't on the same page and didn't put it in the spot to give my guy a chance.” 

Another miss – this time overthrowing Anthony Miller on a seam route – provided a great example of the communication issues that have plagued the passing game. Miller had a step on two defenders, but according to Nagy and Trubisky, cut in on the route when the play directed that he cut out. 

“That's one of Anthony's really good routes that he runs,” Trubisky said. “And he separates and gets open, and I just felt like I had to get the ball out within that time because they created pressure up front. Someone slipped through, and from what I can remember, he just went inside, so I tried to throw a tight seam and give him a chance. But I was on the ground after that, so I'm going to have to go back on the film and watch it and correct it.” 

“Those are plays that you look at and you just -- you'd like to convert on those and connect.,” added Nagy.

The coach also conceded that Trubisky looked rusty on some throws, but was quick to credit the quarterback for making others (he didn’t specify which). Still, silver linings were little consolation to the Bears on Sunday night, and will continue to mean less and less as the season goes on. For being a team that supposedly has great weeks of practice, plenty of questions remain about where all that goes on Sundays. 

“Why it's not translating, I don't have a theory,” Trubisky added. “All I know is, go back to work and make sure that you put in all that work during the week to make sure it translates.”

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