Milwaukee Bucks: Jeff Teague remains a wild card in the second unit

May 13, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
May 13, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Milwaukee Bucks have one of the deepest benches in the association following a significant roster retooling that has carried on throughout the season.

Highlighted by such rotational pieces as Bobby Portis, P.J. Tucker, and Bryn Forbes, having depth and versatility is a massive advantage for Milwaukee in many matchups. Among the many talented pieces in the fold, backup point guard Jeff Teague is someone that has largely been an unknown enigma.

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Milwaukee brought the guard aboard after they traded away D.J. Augustin as part of a package for Tucker back in March. Teague had played 34 games for the Boston Celtics to start the year before being traded and subsequently waived at the deadline, where Milwaukee quickly became the easy next destination for him.

The guard previously expressed an interest in signing with Milwaukee during the last offseason to reunite with head coach Mike Budenholzer after several years together with the Atlanta Hawks.

As fate would have it, Teague eventually got his wish.

Jeff Teague’s production has been a mixed bag, but he continues making an impact for the Milwaukee Bucks

In 20 games with the Bucks, Teague has put up averages of 5.8 points on .471/.304/.875 shooting splits, 1.4 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. Those numbers certainly do not jump off the page, but it goes without saying that the team was not expecting Teague to miraculously return to his All-Star form once he suited up for them.

Playing 15 minutes per contest, the backup floor general has provided the Bucks with another veteran ball handler to alleviate pressure off of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday. While we know for certain that the 32-year-old can give Milwaukee that extra point guard they needed, everything else about him remains unknown.

For reference, some nights he can provide a massive scoring boost, as he did in his lone start with the Bucks in a 127-119 loss to the Charlotte Hornets in early April. Teague made good with the expanded opportunity in that matchup by scoring 19 points on an efficient 8-for-11 shooting.

In addition to his scoring, Teague can also give the Bucks another viable playmaker as evidenced in Milwaukee’s dominant 132-94 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in March. The guard could not get anything to drop offensively for himself in that matchup as he scored just a single point. However, he did conjure up offense for others as he tallied eight assists.

Then there are the nights where Teague fails to make any minimal impact whatsoever. When his shot is not dropping and the turnovers continue piling up, the guard is somewhat of a liability for the Bucks on the floor. One area where Teague has specifically struggled to find a rhythm has been his 3-point shooting, having shot just 7-for-23 since joining the team. Given how much the Bucks like to space the floor, this has hindered Teague’s minutes in the rotation lately, racking up several DNPs along the way.

Yet, Teague is a player the Bucks will use more when the particular matchup calls for it. With the potential to impact the game with his scoring, playmaking, or a combination of both, Teague should be a valuable piece in the rotation. However, he just has not been able to display that consistency lately, which has made him a wild card off the bench.

Although the veteran will not play a sizeable role for the Bucks in the playoffs, any production they get from him in meaningful minutes would provide a boost.

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Whether it be a jolt of offense from Forbes or Portis or Tucker’s robust defense, what you’re going to get from the rest of the reserves is clear most nights. With Teague however, there is never a clear indication of just how much he can impact the game.