Atlanta Hawks' point guard Jeff Teague is taking a more active role with the team

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Point guard Jeff Teague says he’s eager to prove that the Atlanta Hawks were wise to sign him to a new contract.

Atlanta's Jeff Teague is being counted on by coach Mike Budenholzer to control the pace of the offense.   FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Atlanta's Jeff Teague is being counted on by coach Mike Budenholzer to control the pace of the offense.

Now that he’s in his fifth training camp with the Hawks, Teague is taking on a stronger leadership role on the court and in the locker room.

Teague is shedding his reputation for speaking softly as he becomes more vocal and takes more authority than he did previously.

First-year coach Mike Budenholzer wants Teague to control the pace of a new offense that’s predicated on lots of motion in half-court sets.

A successful fast break will be critical, too. Because the Hawks lack size on the front line, Teague believes the team must use its speed and quickness to create turnovers on defense and score baskets in transition.

LAKERS: Five days into training camp, Kobe Bryant took the court for the first time Wednesday.

Bryant didn’t practice with his teammates and the team continues to avoid providing a timetable for their star guard’s return, but just seeing Bryant do some light jogging and set shooting was a sight for sore eyes for Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni.

“He just keeps progressing,” D’Antoni said. “He was out today shooting a little bit and jogging. He just keeps getting better.”

BULLS: Derrick Rose has his mental edge back. After sitting out all of last season while rehabbing from a torn ACL he suffered on April 28, 2012, Rose looks – and sounds – like a man who is ready to prove all his critics wrong.

While discussing what it will mean to him to be back on the floor against a different team in Saturday’s preseason opener against the Indiana Pacers, the former MVP said it doesn’t matter who he is playing.

“I’m a guy where whoever’s on the court I’m going to go at them,” Rose said.

“If it’s my teammates, it could be my mom on the court, she’s going to get killed. I could care less who (is out there). For me, I’m just trying to build that mentality where I don’t care who’s out there, I’m going to play the same way.”

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