In a game where the Celtics surrendered a double-digit lead in the second half, Brad Stevens’ thin backcourt – in light of Marcus Smart (calf) and Payton Pritchard (knee) sidelined with injuries – forced Jeff Teague into the starting lineup alongside Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Tristan Thompson, and Daniel Theis.
From the beginning, Teague struggled against the Kings and when his troubles carried over into the second half one ESPN and Celtics analyst had seen enough.
Kendrick Perkins During Celtics-Kings Game: ‘Take Jeff Teague Out The Game’
Kendrick Perkins, who joined NBC Sports Boston’s Celtics telecast for Wednesday night’s game, tweeted the following during the third quarter after witnessing Sacramento slowly start to chip away its 11-point deficit.
“Take Jeff Teague out the game,” Perkins tweeted. “And put in Edwards please!!!”
On his way to a 7-point (on 1-of-6, 1-of-3 from three), 1-assist in 23 minutes performance, Teague left plenty to be desired against the Kings as his trying season in Boston continues. After an impressive debut performance – where he scored 19 points on 7-of-15 attempts against the Milwaukee Bucks – Teague’s been wildly inconsistent for the Celtics.
Since his debut, Teague has scored in double figures in only two other outings this season, including a 17-point gem against the Orlando Magic on Jan. 15. Still, for January, Jeff averaged a measly 5 points on a 34.5% shooting clip, including 28.6% from behind the arc – a statistical category the Celtics could have really used help in against the Kings Wednesday. Boston shot 33.3% on 11-of-33 from 3 in Sacramento.
However, Carsen Edwards couldn’t find his offensive rhythm after connecting on one 3-pointer in eight minutes, and Tremont Waters – Stevens’ third-string point guard – his shooting touch was ice cold, as well; chillier than Teague’s, in fact. Tremont finished 1-of-8 from the floor, including 0-of-3 from deep.
In spurts, he did an excellent job facilitating and creating defensive stops; Waters finished with five assists and a pair of steals but the scoring was scarce. The three guards combined for a woeful 3-of-15 field goal attempts, including 2-of-8 from 3.
In a lot of ways, Perkins conveyed a sentiment about Teague that’s resonated with Celtics fans, all year long.
Is The Jeff Teague Signing A Bust?
So far, 20 games in, the Teague signing – one that seemed to have secured a secondary scoring weapon for Stevens, this season – hasn’t come to fruition. And when Celtics fans witnessed another dud performance brewing, this time against a .500 Kings team – while Boston’s backcourt’s depleted – when the Celtics needed him most, the anger boiled over.
Before the end of the first half, Celtics Twitter had seen enough. After tweeting the rough night that Teague was having – blatantly, stating the obvious – I got a few interesting responses.
“Which ones aren’t rough?” John on Twitter asked.
“He stinks,” WEEI’s Jim Hackett tweeted. “They’d be better off cutting him loose and giving a 10-day contract to a young and hungry D-Leaguer.”
But one particular response to Perkins’ tweet that truly spoke to the root of the frustration with Teague that all Celtics fans share with one another.
“Jeff Teague really decided to torch the Bucks on opening night,” Daniel tweeted. “And then disappear.”
Teague and the Celtics will look to turn it around when they take on the Clippers in Los Angeles Friday night.