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Bulls point guard Marquis Teague fighting inconsistency

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Updated: December 20, 2013 12:04AM



OKLAHOMA CITY — There is an open spot awaiting Marquis Teague.

But it continues to look like it’s with the Iowa Energy of the D-League as soon as point guard Kirk Hinrich can get over his back issues.

The former first-round pick has been jumped in the rotation again, this time by veteran D.J. Augustin, who wasn’t even on the roster last week and still is trying to learn the system.

Not exactly what the Bulls were hoping for from Teague after he had a solid Summer League showing.

But inconsistent play has been the second-year man’s undoing, and the Bulls plan to use the D-League to get Teague playing time when an opportunity permits.

Asked if the team has functioned poorly with Teague, Thibodeau said, “I think it’s our whole team,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. “Marquis has had some very good moments. He’s had some moments where I think he’s capable of doing better.

“Our margin of error is very small, so we can’t have a three- or four-minute stretch where we jog back, or don’t finish our defense, or challenge a shot, but don’t get to a body and let them get a second and third crack at it. We’ve got to make quick decisions. The ball has to move. We can’t settle for quick shots.’’

Asked if he was disappointed with Teague’s development, Thibodeau said, “He’s young, and there’s going to be a learning curve. He’s got to keep working at it. And as long as he’s improving, he’ll be fine.’’

Mirror, mirror

Like Derrick Rose, ultra-quick Thunder guard Russell Westbrook tore the meniscus in his knee and had to have season-ending surgery last year. Westbrook has returned even better, according to coach Scott Brooks. So there is hope.

“When you’re hurt you see the game in a different light,’’ Brooks said. “[Westbrook] understands there are so many different parts to a game and as a point guard you have to know all the different parts and they’re all moving and changing and different personalities are involved in it.’’

Westbrook and Rose are offseason workout partners, so that could be useful in Rose’s latest recovery.

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com



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