After reaching a buyout deal with his Euro club in June 2012, 2011-12 Euroleague regular season leading scorer Mirza Teletovic signed with the Brooklyn Nets in July. Using their full mid-level exception on the 6’9” sharp shooting Bosnian, the Nets hoped Teletovic could provide consistent scoring in a reserve role as a stretch four. With Anthony Morrow heading south for Atlanta in the Joe Johnson deal, it appeared MTV/MT3/Fearza would be the primary three-ball threat off the bench for the Brooklyn bound Nets.
But that plan never came to fruition in the Avery Johnson era, as Mirza played in only 13 of the 28 games the Little General coached, with Teletovic reaching double digit minutes in only two of those appearances. In the rare instances he did play, it was clear it would take some time for him to adjust to the Association, especially defensively. What he lacked in experience and athleticism, however, Fearza made up for in sheer confidence and Bosnian Bravado. MT3 never met an open, or sometimes not so open, three he didn’t like, with the pièce de résistance coming in the form of a 1-7 outing in a blowout loss at Miami on November 7th.
When Avery was relieved of his duties, Mirza was freed from the bench; interim coach P.J. Carleismo has played Mirza, albeit inconsistently, in 18 of the 24 games. During a three-game stretch in early January, Mirza logged 14+ minutes in each contest and responded by going 7-14 from downtown in that span, even throwing in a #AirMirza moment for good measure. In the subsequent three games, Mirza played 6:30 minutes or less and went 1-4 from three; followed by another three games of double digit minutes and 4-8 from three. The Mirza rule of threes.
Most recently, Mirza has returned to sparse playing time and even sparser production. He hasn’t logged more than 7:26 a game in the last six, and hasn’t scored in the last four. The low point came in a February 6th game against Pistons. Detroit, apparently a hot bed of Bosnian immigration, had an audible contingency of fans calling for the freeing of Mirza. When Teletovic was finally unleashed, he took three shots…all airballs. Maybe Teletovic should finish reading One L.
In a world of rampant grade inflation, it is easy to forget that C is passing; supposedly average according to grading guidelines. Mirza deserves a spot in this league and a role on this team. It’s just not clear how, or when, or if, that will happen.
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Andray Blatche | Keith Bogans | MarShon Brooks | P.J. Carlesimo | Reggie Evans | Kris Humphries | Joe Johnson | Brook Lopez | Tornike Shengelia | Jerry Stackhouse | Tyshawn Taylor | Mirza Teletovic | Gerald Wallace | C.J. Watson | Deron Williams