Kentucky Basketball: 10 Reasons Marquis Teague Will Never Be Big-Time NBA Player
In the 2012 NBA draft the Chicago Bulls selected 19-year-old point guard Marquis Teague from the National Champion Kentucky Wildcats.
Prior to his freshman season at Kentucky, Teague was one of the most highly-regarded recruits coming out of high school and was ranked No. 8 in ESPN.com's 2011 rankings.
The 6'2", 190 lb Teague's biggest strengths are his speed and athletic ability which allowed him to blow by defenders and finish at the rim at the college level.
While he was a big part of John Calipari's National Championship team at Kentucky last year, Teague may have a difficult time recreating the same success in the NBA.
Here we are going to take a look at 10 reasons why Marquis Teague will never be the big-time player in the NBA that he was in high school and college.
Luxury of Kentucky Teammates
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The 2011-2012 Kentucky men's basketball team will go down as one of the best college basketball teams of all time.
John Calipari's group finished 38-2 and cruised through the NCAA Tournament on their way to a 67-59 victory over Kansas in the National Championship game.
While Marquis Teague had a great freshman season at Kentucky, he owed a lot of his success to the talented teammates around him.
Teague's teammates Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were the first two picks of the NBA Draft, the first time the top two selections have come from the same school.
Kentucky forward Terrence Jones was picked No. 18 in the first round while fellow Wildcats Doron Lamb and Darius Miller were chosen early in the second round.
Teague may have a hard time in the NBA separating himself from the Kentucky team and creating his own image in Chicago.
There is no doubting that Marquis Teague has the talent to play at the NBA level, but he could struggle to succeed without the help of his superstar teammates.
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Unfortunately for Marquis Teague, the Chicago Bulls already have a young superstar entrenched at the point guard position.
Derrick Rose is one of the most complete players in the NBA and he was the recipient of the 2011 NBA MVP award.
Rose tore his ACL in the playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers and will miss the beginning of the 2012-2013 season.
This means Teague could have a shot at playing time right off the bat as a rookie, although that means he will really have to develop his game quickly if he wants to hold his own as a starter.
With Derrick Rose the most important player in the franchise, Marquis Teague will never be more than the All-Star's backup in Chicago.
Will Have Trouble in Half-Court Game
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When Marquis Teague was at his best at Kentucky he was flying on the fast break, dishing the ball to fellow first-round picks Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones and Anthony Davis for easy baskets.
However much of the NBA game is predicated on the half-court offense and Teague could struggle initially.
His pick-and-roll skills could become good as he develops, but Teague may become impatient with the flow of the offense and try to use his athletic ability to speed up the game.
To be a big-time point guard in the NBA Marquis Teague is going to need to slow the ball down and run a half-court offense, something that wasn't necessarily required of him at Kentucky.
Will Never Put Up Great Assist Numbers
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Teague showed at Kentucky that he has the ability to open up the floor for teammates, especially on the fast break, and he had the court vision to get them the ball in positions to score.
However, with such a talented group of players at his disposal, you would think that Teague would have been able to put up more than 4.8 assists a game.
When he gets going on the fast break, Teague will often rely heavily on his speed and blow by defenders on his way to the basket.
NBA players will pick up on that and Teague will have to do a better job of slowing the game down and finding the open man.
His questionable decision-making skills and overall willingness to set up teammates for open shots will have to improve if Teague hopes to be a big-time point guard in the NBA.
Not a Great Shooter
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While speed and athleticism are his greatest attributes, Marquis Teague will not be a great shooter in the NBA.
He did a solid job of making open mid-range jumpers in college, but he shot just 32.5 percent from three-point range.
He will struggle with contested jump shots and his range may not be able to extend out past the three-point line in the NBA.
The big problem that Teague could have is if defenders don't respect his shooting ability, they will focus on taking away his ability to get to the basket.
In order for Marquis Teague to realize his full offensive potential, he will need to improve his currently below-average shooting ability.
Won't Score Enough in NBA
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Without a good outside shot, Marquis Teague simply won't score enough in the NBA to justify the lack of assists he gets.
Among NBA point guards in the top five in scoring, the players with the lowest assist totals were Russell Westbrook and Brandon Jennings at 5.5 assists per game.
While I think Teague is capable of that many assists in a starting role, it is clear that he will never put up the 23.6 and 19.1 points per game that Westbrook and Jennings do.
To be a big-time point guard in the NBA you either have to put up big assists numbers or big scoring numbers.
It is clear that while Marquis Teague has a lot of athletic talent on the court, he will never be able to put up the big numbers to be a top point guard.
Speed Won't Be as Dominant in NBA
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While Marquis Teague was able to dominate other guards with his speed in college, he won't be as effective using it in the NBA.
The NBA is full of some of the best athletes in the world and there will be guards who are quick enough to slow down Teague's fast-paced game.
While Teague is fast enough to create for himself on some plays, it remains to be seen if he has the athletic prowess to take over a game like Russell Westbrook does.
There is no doubting Teague's athletic ability and he should be able to use his speed effectively at the NBA level. He just won't be able to dominate opposing guards with it like he was capable of doing last year at Kentucky.
Won't Get Enough Experience Playing in Chicago
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The best way for Marquis Teague to develop his game to reach his full potential is through consistent playing time as a starter.
With Derrick Rose in the picture, Teague will most likely be playing with second team players and he won't be getting consistent minutes on the floor.
While Tom Thibodeau is one of the best coaches in the NBA, he doesn't get paid to develop players.
He gets paid to win games and that means putting the best lineup out on the court for as much time as he can each game.
While Teague should learn a lot from Thibodeau and Rose, he won't get the necessary playing experience to become a big-time player in the NBA.
Too Many Great Point Guards in NBA
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The NBA is turning into a point guard's league and there are a number of big-time caliber players at the position.
If you take a look at where Marquis Teague was drafted in the 2012 NBA Draft, he was considered the third- or fourth-best point guard in a weak class for point guards.
In recent drafts this would have put Teague on the same level as guys like Nolan Smith, Norris Cole and Greivis Vasquez.
While Teague should become a better NBA player than these players, it doesn't put him as one of the top point guards in the league.
With the likes of Chris Paul, Derrick Rose and Deron Williams dominating the game, there just isn't room for Marquis Teague to be a big-time point guard in the NBA.
Overshadowed by Big Brother
Not only does Marquis Teague have to contend with Derrick Rose's shadow in Chicago, he has an older brother who has already established himself as a good point guard in the NBA.
Jeff Teague had his best year in the NBA last season, averaging 12.6 points and 4.9 assists per game while starting every game in leading the Atlanta Hawks to the playoffs.
While Marquis can certainly one day get to the level that Jeff is at, there is no question that there will pressure for him to live up to the expectations of his older brother.
This is something that could be difficult for Marquis as he watches Jeff be on the court for the opening tip while he sits behind Rose.
Marquis Teague has just as much talent as his older brother Jeff, but he could struggle to contend with his older brother's shadow as a young player in the NBA.