Q&A: Jeff Teague

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Wednesday, May 07, 2014 with No comments
Courtesy of Chris Vivlamore 

Q. When you think about the season with a couple days to reflect, what is going through your mind?
A. For the most part, I think it was a successful season. I think we had a great run at it. Game 6 is going to eat at me for a while. Other than that, it was just a fun group. Guys were great this year. Coaching staff for our first year was wonderful man, like a joy to play for. Playing for this group of guys, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Q. With that core group of guy back, is the future bright here?
A. Yeah definitely. We get Al back healthy. With the guys we have, we have a really good group. We gel well together. We enjoy playing with one another. I’m excited for next season.
Q. Why do you think this was your best season?
A. It was just fun. Honestly, I wanted to play every game. I wanted to come to practice every day. I enjoyed it. There wasn’t a dull moment. Everything was fun. Everything was exciting. We did stuff out of basketball that was really fun like go play baseball at the Braves stadium, stuff like that. I have never done anything like that in my previous years so that was a lot of fun.
Q. Was playing in (coach Mike Budenholzer’s) system what made it fun to go out there and play with pace?
A. It’s fun basketball. I think everyone is excited to just play. I think everybody on the team enjoyed playing. When you are playing like that unselfishly and sharing the basketball, just having fun, it’s easy to play for a guy like him. He is a great guy. He is very personable. He’s funny. He’s emotional. He’s everything. He’s like a perfect coach.
Q. Do you feel like you have turned a corner this year?
A. My goal every year is just to get better than the previous year. I think I did that. There is still a lot more I can do, a lot more I can work on, a lot more things I can get better at. Just being around here this summer, staying around the guys, staying around the coaching staff, I think I will be able to do that.
Q. Can you be an elite point guard?
A. I believe I have it in my game. But it’s going to take a lot of work in the offseason, a lot of preparation time, a lot of studying film, being around coach Bud, being in his ear.
Q. What are some of the things you need to do?
A. Probably need to get stronger. Just my overall game, you can get better in every aspect of your game every year.
Q. What will your summer be like? You alluded that you will stay here?
A. I will be around. My mom kicked me out of my house in Indiana. I’ll be in Atlanta. I have a home here so I will be here for the most part, back and forth between here and Indiana.
Q. What in particular did (coach Budenholzer) do for you in terms of how you play your position?
A. Honestly, he just put the ball in my hands. He told me to play and enjoy it. He believes in every one of us. He always tells me ‘Be aggressive, be aggressive. That is the only way I want you to play.’ When your coach is telling you that there is no way you can’t be successful.
Q. Do you feel like you have developed more this year than in previous years?
A. Definitely. I feel like he took my game to another level, just putting the confidence in me, believing me and not being hesitant with me. He gets in my face. He gets on me. He tells me what I need to do. He sits me down when he needs to. He just really knows what he’s doing.
Q. How have you stepped into a leadership role this year?
A. I’m never a big vocal guy but I think I have respect in the locker room. I think everybody looks toward me and gravitates toward me. I think I’m a funny guy. I think I crack a lot of jokes and am easy to be around. I’m never going to be a rah-rah yelling type of guy like that. I’ll leave that to Al (Horford).
Q. Do you expect to be in the second round (of the playoffs) next year?
A. Yeah, I hope so. I feel like we should have been there this year but it didn’t work out in our favor. If we continue to work to get better, good things will happen.