Rookie Marquis Teague has been impressing the one guy that no rookie manages to impress: Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. In Wednesday nights win against the Philadelphia 76ers, Teague played a total of 20 minutes in which he tallied 6 points, 4 assists, 2 steals and just one turnover.
While what seems like a natural ability to run an offense and control the tempo is what impressed most fans, Thibodeau was obviously more impressed with his work on the other end of the floor. After roasting Nate Robinson for almost a full quarter, Teague managed to come into the game and slow down Jrue Holiday. He did manage to score 26 points, but it took him 28 shots and 5 turnovers to get there. Not to mention, the bulk of his easy scores came against Nate.
More important than any of his statistical feats was the fact that he was Thibbs’ closing point guard, playing the bulk of the fourth quarter. For good measure, the first time Jimmy Butler played important fourth quarter minutes for Tom Thibodeau was 25 games into his career, against the New York Knicks.
Here’s what Joakim Noah, who has become a bit of a team veteran had to say about Teague, via KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
“He’s a worker. He comes to practice early, is always lifting weights and getting extra shots. This is what you work hard for, for moments like this, to get an opportunity as a rookie to step in and make a difference. He made a difference.”
According to KC Johnson’s Twitter, there is a chance that either Kirk will be back tonight against the New Jersey Nets, that Teague will be starting, or that Robinson will be starting. In other words, Tom Thibodeau is already in play-off form in terms of his interactions with reporters.
Here’s the kicker with Marquis Teague though. He’s the one rookie I’m not letting myself get attached to too much. If he ends up being really good, he’s probably going to get traded within the next 16 months. If last game was an anomaly and he ends up being terrible, that sucks too. However, if he ends up being Derrick Rose’s permanent back-up, that’d be pretty awesome. It would also mean that despite how much Bulls fans complain about their management, there’s one thing they’ve proven to be good at: drafting (aside from that whole Tyrus Thomas for LaMarcus Aldridge debacle).