Jeff Teague played on a 60-win team in Atlanta, but also has played for a lot of bad teams in his career. With the Celtics, he feels like he has a chance to contend again. John Amis/Associated Press

Jeff Teague was the starting point guard on a 60-win Atlanta Hawks team in 2014-15 that, after getting swept in four games by Cleveland in the conference semifinals, was slowly dismantled over the next three seasons.

Teague spent his first seven seasons with the Hawks, and has since bounced from Indiana, to Minnesota and, halfway through last season, back to Atlanta again.

But save for that 60-win Hawks team, which included fellow All-Stars Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver, Teague hasn’t played for another with similar possibilities until now.

“I’ve never really had a team, besides my years in Atlanta, that I actually felt I could get to the championship besides this one,” the point guard said during his introduction to Boston media Friday.

“The Indiana situation was fun. In Minnesota, the first year, it was fun. We had a competitive group. We had a really good team. And after that, things did what they do,” he said of the Timberwolves’ disintegration. “Those last couple of years in Minnesota was rough, just not having a chance to win. I was used to playing in the playoffs. I had a streak I think of nine years straight playing in the playoffs, so not having a chance to compete in the last couple of years was pretty painful.

“But coming here was all about winning. They established themselves as a great team, they have the core guys who all are All-Star players, and y’all trying to win a championship, so I wanted to be a part of that.”


Teague’s role will be prominent from the start, especially with Kemba Walker out until January while he rehabs his knee. His reaction to the Celtics’ young core is similar to Walker’s last season.

“I’m a fun guy. I like to joke around with guys and establish a relationship off the court. But these guys, man, are talented,” he said. “They know what it takes, they’ve been in the Eastern Conference finals, and I’m just here to try and push that forward. Hopefully our goal is to get to the championship, and I’m gonna try to do what I can to help these guys. They were right there last year. So try to bring a little more energy, a little more effort, and try to help these guys on and off the court.”

JAYLEN BROWN, as always, remains involved in as many social justice causes as he can manage while also getting ready for the season. Recently, he tweeted the home page of a Georgia group that is attempting to change the name of his high school – Joseph Wheeler High School – because of its association with a Confederate general.

His state, with two Senate runoff elections scheduled for Jan. 5 with control of the U.S. Senate in the balance, is currently in the sites of the political universe.

Without making a commitment to either side, Brown is helping Georgia’s get-out-the-vote effort.

“I was trying to do an initiative. I still am. I might partner with Coach (Lloyd) Pierce down in Atlanta if they allow me to,” said Brown. “But just for people to get out and vote. I think you have to re-register in Georgia to vote for the state representatives and senate race. A lot of people my age and younger don’t know that. So my goal wasn’t to get them to pick one or the other. It was to get them out and vote, for their voices to be heard, because I’m sure they’re not even counting on the majority of youth the be involved because I don’t even think they know you need to re-register in Georgia.


“So hopefully they send this out and get some steam behind it. Dec. 7 is the deadline for the senate race in Georgia, which obviously will affect the entire United States. So I encouraged the youth to get out in Georgia and re-register to vote. Hopefully in this media session it’ll make its way down.”

EVAN TURNER will eventually join the Celtics as assistant coach, according to Brad Stevens, but the just-retired swingman comes with some instant coaching cred.

“I thought that was a great move by the front office, having people who played the game at a high level around, and (he) just finished playing,” said Brown. “I think having him around is an added benefit to this team. We can relate. He can relate to us. He knows what our minds are thinking. And having him in these coaches meetings is going to be important. So I think that was a great hire for the Celtics.”

Teague played with Turner in Atlanta last season, and admittedly finds it unusual to have a coach who, at 32, is the same age.

“ET, that’s my guy, man. I’ve known ET since I was 13, so to see him being a coach is pretty weird right now, but he has a lot of insight on the game,” said Teague. “Being a No. 2 pick and playing really well, being kind of like a Celtics folk hero – everybody loves him around here, everybody talks so highly of him here, and they should because he’s a really good guy, a funny guy. But I’m happy to see him being able to transition in his career to something that he really wants to do. He really wanted to coach, and I think he did enough in his playing career. Playing 10 years in the NBA is pretty remarkable.”

THE CELTICS revealed their schedule for the first half of the upcoming NBA season, from their opener on Wednesday, Dec. 23 to their final game before the All-Star break on Thursday, March 4.

The Celtics will open the season at home against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks on Dec. 23 before hosting Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and the Nets on Christmas Day at 5 p.m.

Other highlights: matchups against Miami on Jan. 6 and 10, back-to-back games at Philadelphia on Jan. 20 and Jan. 22, a home game against LeBron James and the defending-champion Lakers on Jan. 30, a week-long west coast trip from Feb. 2 to Feb. 9, a trip to face 2019 No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans on Feb. 21, and finally home games against the Clippers and Raptors on March 2 and 4 before the All-Star break begins.

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