It’s time to #FreeMirza

Posted on: February 3rd, 2013 by Max Weisberg Comments
Mirza Teletovic

It's time for Mirza Teletovic to get his minutes. (AP)

It’s becoming more and more evident that a change at the four-spot must be made. Currently, Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo has been sticking with 11-year veteran, Reggie Evans; a lifelong bench player whose ability to rebound and go after a loose ball is arguably unmatched in today’s NBA.

Reggie Evans is not a bad player; he is valuable, and simply fits better with the Nets' second unit. What many people often confuse is the idea that the Nets need a “starting caliber PF,” when in fact they don’t. They need a PF that plays well with the starters, whether or not he is a starting caliber PF in the NBA is essentially meaningless.

Over the last four games before Friday night, the Nets averaged 15.7 turnovers per game. Their season average is 13.8 per game, which slots them as the 9th best team in that department. In the last two third quarters vs. the Miami Heat, the Nets have turned the ball over 14 times. Seven of those 14 belong to Deron Williams. Twelve of those 14 belong to Joe Johnson, Deron Williams or Brook Lopez while the other two were committed by none other than Reggie Evans. But why? Why so many turnovers?

The turnover problem is result of floor congestion, in lack of floor spacing. When Reggie Evans plays with the starting unit, there is very little for him to do on the offensive end other than set screens. This then allows for opposing teams to double team the Nets’ “big three” in an effort to force the ball out of their hands. Below is a compilation of every Nets turnover in the third quarter against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night:

6 of the 8 turnovers the Nets had in that quarter were the result of double-teams on one of the Nets’ big three. (The other two turnovers were simply careless.)

You can complain about the Nets' lack of defense in this game (rightfully), but defense leads to offense. In this case, the Nets turning the ball over leads to points for the Heat. The Heat scored 12 points off of the Nets' 8 turnovers that quarter.

The answer to this problem does not lie within a trade (or at least not yet). The answer is Mirza Teletovic.

With a Nets starting unit that carries three players that opposing teams want to double almost every time they try to go one-on-one, Teletovic can space the floor, knock down open threes, and most importantly draw defensive pressure. Not only do I believe that Mirza may alleviate the chronic turnover problem, but the astounding numbers certainly back up the thought that Mirza playing with the starting unit will work.

With Teletovic in the game, the Nets turn the ball over the least. The margin is actually quite wide. With Mirza in the game, they turn it over just 14% of the time as opposed to 16% with him out of the game. The next best player on the Nets in this category is Brook Lopez, the Nets turn it over 15% of the time with him in as opposed to 16.6% of the time with him out.

In fact, when Lopez & Teletovic play together, the team turns it over just 9% of the time; the least of any two-man combo.

When Lopez has played with Teletovic this season (46 minutes), he has turned it over ZERO(!) times. When he has played with Blatche, Evans or Humphries he turns it over an average of .072 times per minute (.062 TO’s/min. for the season). When Lopez plays with Teletovic, his FG% is 82.4% (!). When he plays with Evans, it’s 50.2%, with Blatche, it’s 45.8%, and with Humphries, it’s 52.7%.

When Joe Johnson plays with Teletovic, he turns it over just .026 times per minute compared to an average of .046 with Blatche, Reggie, or Humphries. In fact, he turns the ball over exactly twice as much per minute when he’s playing with Humphries (.052) rather than Teletovic (.026).

For Deron Williams, the same trend continues. Even though his turnovers are actually highest with Teletovic on the court (76 minutes), his other numbers are astonishing. With Mirza on the court he shoots 48% FG, 45.5% from three, and is a +19 in plus/minus. With Evans, he shoots 37.4% FG, 31.9% from three, and is a -68(!). With Blatche, he shoots 39.1% FG, 28.2% from three, and is a -45. With Humphries, he shoots 47.7% FG, 38.5% from three, and is a +28.

The numbers don’t lie here. The biggest difference between the four PF’s is simply floor spacing and keeping the defense honest. Here’s a video from the Heat game of when Teletovic and Williams were on the floor together. We can see Deron driving to the hoop, one-on-one with Shane Battier and finishing an and-1. You can also see Teletovic’s man unable to double Deron or help on the drive because he needs to stay home on the shooter.

The numbers and tape speak for themselves. I'm not sure if Mirza is a long-term solution for the starting PF, but what we do know is that a change must be made and there’s only one way to find out if it works. Let’s just hope it’s sooner rather than later.

#FreeMirza

With contributions from Devin Kharpertian. Statistical support for this story provided by NBA.com.

Comments

  1. avatar M I K E says:

    Thanks Max…

    But it’s obvious the Nets don’t want to turnover the apple cart and disrupt Reggie Evans who is now an important and vital team leader.

    Teletovic’s current situation with the Nets kind of reminds me of another player 20 years ago.

    “How do I feel? Great! I am sitting on the bench, nobody asks me nothing. I score a few points at the end of the game… In fact, if I may say, I am the highest paid player in the NBA. I am making millions of dollars for 5 minutes per game…5 minutes per game if Adelman is in the mood and if the score is right”

    The big difference is that Drazen actually had very talented guards in front of him on that guard heavy Portland team. Mirza has zilch.

    Don’t know if Mirza is any good but we will never find out by not playing him.

    What really scares me is come playoff time how can you keep Evans on the court in close games ?

    1. avatar Max Weisberg says:

      You are right…the only way to find out, is by actually giving it a shot.

      Again, I think the biggest thing to take away is that Mirza may not be a starter, but I think it’s now proven that he fits best with the starters, while Reggie fits best with the second unit.

      Is it a long-term solution? Probably not, but until Billy King can find a deal for a PF upgrade, then I think this is what should be done.

  2. avatar BrooklynLopez says:

    I’ve been trying to make this argument for some time but did not have Max’s stats to make such a persuasive case.

    I believe this team still suffers from looking at things with Avery-tinted glasses. Meaning that because a player is deficient in areas like defensive rotations and playing “smart” basketball, we tend to ignore the positive impacts they can add to the game. The Orlando game is a great example: Teletovic didn’t score when he was brought into the game but the spacing allowed the starters the room to work. When Evans came back into the game, he kept getting hit with fouls and slowing the Nets flow on offense.

    The case of MarShon is another example of evaluating players through the Avery lens. Yes Brooks often makes costly mistakes, but his scoring and ability to break down defenses is essential to a team that needs more scoring threats. Play these guys instead of whining about not having enough personnel. Evans can be a leader playing 15 mpg off the bench.

    1. avatar KnickHater says:

      @BrooklynLopez: You may be right, which is why the Nets should probably look to someone other than PJ to be our coach for the long term. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy and grateful for what PJ has done as an interim coach, but we have to look at the big picture.

  3. avatar DWILL-of-the-GODZ says:

    Wow an article about how Mirza doesnt turn the ball over.

    46 whole minutes played with Lopez. You dont say.

    Did you ever think about posting the number of minutes Lopez has played with Evans or Hump to show context or did you purposely cherry pick the stats used in this article? If Mirza has one bad 5 minute stretch playing with Lopez then your whole article is rendered moot.

    It helps Mirza’s numbers when you consider how the Nets hide him until they play bad teams. Does Mirza play during the meaningful minutes against the Bulls, Heat, Knicks or Pacers? Of course he doesnt because he is a bad player reserved for 20 point blowouts, garbage time and the dregs of the NBA like the Kings and Wizards.

    You conveniently failed to acknowledge how poor of a defender and rebounder Mirza is. Do the Nets really want to start a frontcourt of Lopez and Teletovic? They would get slaughtered in PnR and on the glass.

    You also speak of the poor floor spacing without bringing up Wallace. I have seen plenty of teams thrive with a PF who isnt a floor spacer. The bigger problem is our starting SFs rapid decline. That is the true source of the constant double teams our big 3 are facing.

    Speaking of Mirza as anything other then a bust is disingenuous to me. #FREEMIRZA is such a joke. Even if he were free I wouldnt want him on the team. The Nets supposedly got Mirza for less then market value when the reality is he hasnt even produced at a veteran minimum level. I would hope they expected more then a couple of cameos 47 games into the season & 37.8% FG for $3.1 mil.

    If your looking for someone to start at PF it’s Blatche. All the Nets need to do is get a backup center to replace his spot on the 2nd unit. Mirza isnt even playing well vs bad team’s backups so stop with the starting him nonsense.

    1. avatar Max Weisberg says:

      You are very wrong. That’s all I will say.

      There’s a difference between being critical of someone’s play and then tossing up blind, biased, and just plain silly, EXTREME hate to a player.

      If you’re calling Mirza a bust after his first 30 or so games in the U.S., then you have a severe lack of understanding of how the NBA, basketball, and perhaps even life works in general.

      I assume you are the same person who called Dirk Nowitzki a “bust” after his rookie season where he averaged 8.2 ppg, 3.4 reb, 20.7% 3PFG, and 40.5% FG?

      1. avatar DWILL-of-the-GODZ says:

        How old was Dirk when he was a rookie? You have the nerve to try and say I dont understand how baskeball and life works yet you compare a guy who cant crack one of the worst PF rotations in the NBA to a HOF. Hysterical.

        Mirza has been a pro for close to 10 years. The Nets paid him to contribute from day 1. Here we are close to 50 games into the season and, like you said, he has played 20 only twice.

        It had nothing to do with his sub 40% FG or 10.5% rebounding rate. Since I dont understand basketball can you tell me if that is good for a PF?

        2 different coaches have chose not to play him meaningful minutes. His numbers when he does play are poor yet you want to start him?

        Spare me with your sanctimonious reply. Mirza has not played well.

        1. avatar Max Weisberg says:

          Can you tell me what the definition of “adjustment” is? You probably cannot because it is clearly not in your vocabulary. You really lack an understanding of the idea of adjustments.

          Like you just said, Mirza was a pro for 10 years. Where did he play his whole career? Ah, Europe. Don’t you think that after playing on a different continent for your entire career that it would take more than 26 games to get adjusted to not only a whole new league, but also a whole new life. You simply just pass this along as a non-factor and that is where you understanding of basketball and life is severely flawed.

          But more importantly; if you read the article, not once did I say that Mirza was a good player. Not once did I say that Evans was a bad player. In fact I said he was a good player. The most important thing I said was that it’s all about fitting in. Evans fits better with the 2nd unit, while Teletovic fits better with the starters.

          This is not about whether Teletovic has played well or not. Its about what other teams know about him; that he can shoot the ball from behind the arc. It’s about floor spacing and allowing the Nets’ big three to go more one on one. If the defense tries to double-team the starters, then Teletovic will be open for wide open three’s all game. Evans does not bring that aspect to the game, thus his poor fit with the starters.

          1. avatar DWILL-of-the-GODZ says:

            The definition of “adjustment” in the way you are using it is “excuse”. Just in case you didnt know Europe isnt a country. It’s multiple countries, as in plural. This isnt the 1st time he has had to play in a new country that speak a different language.

            And that isnt the point. The point is Mirza is not a starter. Your saying that he fits better with better players around him. Did you figure that out all by yourself? Is that an exclusive characteristic to Mirza or can that not be said about every player in the NBA?

            Your all over the place for a writer by the way. You never said he was a good player yet you advocate him being a starter? You insinuate he isnt fully adjusted yet you want to start him? You sure make it difficult to understand what the point of this article is about. I took it that by saying #FREEMIRZA you were endorsing him as a good player.

            1. avatar Max Weisberg says:

              Now I am going to question your reading comprehension, because it’s plain awful.

              I did not say country, I said continent.

              Second, I think what you are reading may be something different from what I’m reading. I did not say Mirza was a starter. Let’s make that clear. I said he fits better with the Nets starters than does Evans.

              Third, you are completely missing the boat with the reason why I want to put him in the starting lineup. I want to put him into the starting lineup because the other four guys play better when he is on the court with them.

              That doesn’t mean he is a starter (which you will probably say it does), it doesn’t mean he is a good player. It means that THE STARTERS PLAY BETTER WITH MIRZA ON THE COURT.

              And fourth, if you think that saying #FreeMirza is the same as saying “I endorse Mirza as a good player,” then I can’t really help you.

              1. avatar DWILL-of-the-GODZ says:

                I know you said continent. My point is that Mirza has adjusted to different cultures before and you saying he is “adjusting” is a convenient excuse for poor play.

                Why dont you make it easy and share your opinion of Mirza as a stand alone player instead of talking out of both sides of your mouth.

                Will Mirza makes us better offensively? Of course. Will it cause more problems on defensive and rebounding? YES. I dont see why you would weaken 2 areas of need to upgrade one.

                1. avatar Max Weisberg says:

                  Share my opinion of Mirza as a stand-alone player? You mean the Mirza Teletovic that led ALL OF EUROPE in scoring last season? Oh.

                  How do you know so definitively that Mirza will cause more problems on defense and rebounding? According to you, he doesn’t play any meaningful minutes, therefore we can’t judge him form garbage minutes right?

                  Your quote:

                  “It helps Mirza’s numbers when you consider how the Nets hide him until they play bad teams. Does Mirza play during the meaningful minutes against the Bulls, Heat, Knicks or Pacers? Of course he doesnt because he is a bad player reserved for 20 point blowouts, garbage time and the dregs of the NBA like the Kings and Wizards.”

                  So we’re going to judge a player’s defense and rebounding just from “garbage minutes?”

                  1. avatar DWILL-of-the-GODZ says:

                    He led Europe in scoring in 10 WHOLE GAMES

                    Answering the question with a question is not an Answer.

                    Answer the question with a statement.

                    Figured you wouldnt.

    2. avatar Max Weisberg says:

      And I find it so ironic that you are the one stressing so emphatically that 46 minutes playing with Lopez is way too little of a sample size, yet you ignore the fact that Mirza has played over 20 minutes just TWICE in his whole career.

      Talk about small sample sizes…

    3. avatar Max Weisberg says:

      And as for your opening line?

      Mirza turns the ball over .046 times per minute.

      Evans? – .060 times per minute.

      Your answer, Blatche? – .072 time per minute.

      1. avatar DWILL-of-the-GODZ says:

        Mirza is a catch and shoot player. They tend to catch and shoot instead of pass or dribble.

        Most of Evans TO are 3 sec violations and illegal screens

        Blatche’s are more of the traditional TOs from trying to do to much.

        Where is Hump by the way?

        Lets compare their rebounding rates since that is a more telling stat for a PF then playmaking

        Blatche 16.6%
        Evans 23.7%
        Hump 19.2%
        Tele 10.5%

        1. avatar Max Weisberg says:

          So you just admitted that Evans and Blatche are much more turnover prone that Teletovic. So there’s that.

          As for your rebounding numbers; how can we look at those when he has yet to play over 20 minutes more than twice in his NBA career? Like you said, the 46 minutes he has played with Lopez (where Brook is shooting 82% and the Nets turn it over the least of any two-man combo) are meaningless because it’s too small a sample size.

          Well if you are saying that those 46 minutes are too small a sample size, then how are you saying Teletovic playing less than 9 minutes per game is a big enough sample size to extract his rebounding numbers from?

          You must choose one or the other, can’t have it both ways.

          1. avatar DWILL-of-the-GODZ says:

            Using TOs to decide who should start at PF is like choosing who should start at PG based on blocked shots.

            When you stop using TO as a reason to start Tele then I will stop using rebounds as a reason not to.

            1. avatar Max Weisberg says:

              It’s not just TO’s by the PF’s. It’s turnovers for the WHOLE TEAM. Huge difference as pointed out between Blatche, Hump, Reggie and Blatche on the court compared to Mirza.

  4. avatar brooklynfandan says:

    Very satisfying statistical breakdown. The idea of Mirza getting more minutes, specifically with the starters, needs to be explored. The Nets are +15 with D-Will, Bogans, JJ, Mirza, and Lopez on the court together (Mirza hasn’t played with Crash in that lineup instead of Bogans).
    I think it’s Mirza’s poor rebounding that scares PJ more than anything else. His defensive rebounding % is 9. That’s obviously really bad. But the sample size is super small. And if a guy like Crash is asked to focus on rebounding to help Mirza out he’ll probably go and get a couple more.
    I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Mirza’s game on offense. He’s not as good of a shooter as a Steve Novak or a Ryan Anderson (who is?) but he’s way more dynamic in his ability to put the ball on the floor and create a shot for himself or someone else.
    The fact that the Nets are 9 games over .500 is good for fan morale and good for business I guess. But they’ve looked pretty helpless against good teams. Giving Mirza some minutes with the starters is a worthwhile experiment.

    1. avatar Sean Coyle says:

      I agree with you. I think either way, we arE robbing Peter to pay Paul. If we play Mirza more, the offensive numbers might improve, but the rebounding numbers are sure to go down. Although I think we should give it a try, I do not think Mirza is the solution to the Nets problems right now

      1. avatar M I K E says:

        I agree with you…Mirza can never be the solution because this Nets team plays more ISO ball than team ball and Mirza has an all around game. He can shoot, dribble, pass and yes rebound but the Nets rather have a team of one on one players… Evans is perfect for this team…He’s a defensive ISO specialist and on offense he doesn’t interfere with our ISO guys and their ISO plays.

        I just read that the Nets have had two alley-oop plays all season…The reason why ? Probably because it takes two players involved to execute the play.

        1. avatar Max Weisberg says:

          I disagree.

          Evan does in fact interfere with our ISO plays. His so offensively inept that it allows the defense to sag off him and double team on post-up’s and isolations.

          With a guy who can space the floor, this happens much less.

          You’re basically playing 4 on 5 with Evans on offense.

  5. avatar NJBK44 says:

    Mirza on offense with first team…..great. defense….not so much. However, evans’ lack of offense does slow down a great offensive unit that could be even better. The answer is Hump. Play him 30-35 mins per game and let him be the 13 and 11 player he was for the past two years. HUMP can bound and is the perfect fifth option with the first team. With more minutes, his mid range jumper will even come back.

    1. avatar Max Weisberg says:

      Hump is 2 for his last 15 and shot 37% from the field in January.

      Humphries cannot defend either.

      1. avatar DWILL-of-the-GODZ says:

        In order of who should be playing at PF

        Blatche
        Hump
        Wallace
        Tele
        Evans

        1. avatar M I K E says:

          Evans has found a way on this , passive, laid back,leaderless Nets team to fill a void…As long as we win games no matter how ugly PJ will stay with Evans at PF because he can’t afford to lose Evans and the emotion and energy he supposedly brings to the team…Blatche, Humphries and Teletovic are better players but are not the leaders PJ feels he needs in the locker room and out on the court…This kind of stuff happens all the time in sports…Coaches especially interim coaches feel the pressure to win now so they go with what works until it don’t work or they get fired…They don’t like playing young players and favor the veterans at the expense of the development of our young talent…PJ is a journeyman NBA coach and Evans a journeyman player so they probably are meant for each other…I hope they live happily ever after.

          P.S. This Nets team is not fun to watch…Devin was amazed last week of how the Nets crowd gets up when Teletovic is out on the floor even when he misses shots..I’m not because I know they are just as bored and uninspired as I am and see a team and a coach that are content would staying where they are and not trying to improve themselves…People say but look at our record…I say there’s a reason why pundits always point out the majority of our wins are against teams with a below .500 record and against good teams we are not very impressive.

          1. avatar DWILL-of-the-GODZ says:

            Is this ND’s M I K E

            1. avatar M I K E says:

              Of course…What happened with you man ?

              1. avatar DWILL-of-the-GODZ says:

                Net Income can dish it but cant take it.

                He accused me of personally attacking him for saying he only post after the Nets win.

                He then threaten to ban me.

                You know me. I pulled up one of his old posts where he did the exact same thing saying someone only posts after losses.

                He deleted that post and banned me.

                I guess he thinks he is beyond reproach.

                1. avatar M I K E says:

                  I don’t understand why you argue with him. You’re a smart guy and should know better…I’ve seen other guys do the same thing and I just shake my head… Next time you return to ND play the game man…Don’t get baited by other posters…Just ignore them. They hate it when you ignore them…Also try to be positive once and a while…I know you can do that… People get tired of guys who are always negative even if they are right…You are one of my favorite posters so do me a favor and ask for reinstatement and start contributing again…Thanks.

                  1. avatar Max Weisberg says:

                    Not only is this a place to discuss the Nets, but…

                    We also haveThe Brooklyn Game therapy sessions! Awesome.

                    1. avatar M I K E says:

                      Sorry Max…

                      How long have you been a Nets fan ?

                    2. avatar DWILL-of-the-GODZ says:

                      LOL

                      I must admit though Max outside of this fluff piece on Mirza, The Brooklyn Game is pretty bad ace.

                      I like the format alot. You just need to make some slight adjustments like have a time stamp on comments.

                    3. avatar Max Weisberg says:

                      M I K E: I’ve been a fan my whole life.

                      DWILL_of_the_GODZ: Yes, this site is awesome, it’s fun, and it’s pretty loose around here. And yes I agree, the comments formatting sort of need an overhaul. Devin has also agree’d with me there. (As you can see you can only reply so many times to someone, so that’s why I’m replying to my post).

  6. avatar oldirtyjersey says:

    I agree with Max on this. I love Evans as a player, but as a starter his weaknesses are exaggerated. He is an energy guy and you can see the drop off when the minutes rise or on back-to-back games.

    While a good one-on-0ne post defender, he is a poor help defender. Often boxing out his man for a rebound while an opposing guard drives to the basket for a lay-up. How may blocked shots does he have? How many charges drawn? Rebounding alone should not make him a starter. It is almost comical how opposing defenses will let him roam on offense. It has to be difficult to play 4 on 5 on O to start every game.

    Give Mirza a shot at spacing the floor for the starters. He will make mistakes, but so does Evans (Missed layups, missed free throws, turnovers, 3 second calls) and Humphries (shot selection). Evans should be used as he has successfully for his career. A 15-18 minute bench player who cleans up the glass.

    No PF on this roster is without their flaws, so depending on the matchup, Mirza, Humphries or Evans could get 20-25 minutes. Putting Mirza in with the starters may help quite a bit. If not, the PF position on this team is flexible. So give Humphries a go. Then hope you get lucky in the draft or with a trade at the deadline.

    1. avatar WynnDuffy says:

      Whole lotta responses on this subject, and it is a difficult question to find a solution to.

      Humph is obviously the better of the four (Blatche, Evans & Mirza. And I imagine Toko could play some PF. And I didn’t even include Crash) PFs as far as one-on-one post defending goes. Reggie is the best rebounder, Mirza is the guy with the actual basketball skills. Blatche is great on offense, and Crash is the extreme hustle guy, as actually Shengalia is also.

      Quite a conundrum.

      As I’ve stated before, this team is lopsided.

      Good luck to us, as I have almost no faith in Billy King to figure out how to balance this team properly.

      Of course, it would help if Deron and JJ both picked up their games a notch.

      Nets also need a backup PG that can run an offense.

      1. avatar eol says:

        Greetings from Europe ( I know someone can accuse me that Europe is not country it is a continent).
        I would like to say couple of things on this very subject. Excuse me if my writing is somewhat poor as I am not a native english speaker.
        He is my countryman so I am certainly biased but here it is:
        Considering Mirza situation;
        1. He never was a good defensive player and fact of the matter is he was never asked to be one in Europe because:
        2. He was a great offensive player whose contribution as a “second fiddle” in Tau Ceramica to Thiago Splitter is often ignored because in those years team was much more paint oriented.
        3. Thiago leaved and he becomes first option in attack and also focal point for opposing team defense.
        4. So he is not spot up shooter by any means since he was in a main role on offense and 3 pts attempts percentage is actually quite good all things considering (we all know that that is why he is bought by Nets in a first place – to play offensively)
        5. The most important thing: he comes to a league where 3 pts stripe is 23 feet and 9 inches away from the backboard vs 22 ft 2 in. Think about it: he was brought to do something that he never did before- to shoot from that range constantly and with high percentage. He had to adjust muscle memory to a new distance and to do it automatically he needs to shoot 5 to 10 000 threes in training to show his true range. To make things worse someone told him to bulk up and his arms were tired during Avery’s coaching so he was worse then ever I admit. Now he adjusterd training to ssuite his own abillity and not to try to be next Nikola Pekovic

        6. I understand criticism of the Nets fans and I understand that they expect more since he is not real rookie in this game. But he was a victim of the deals gone bad. He was brought to be Hedo for Howard and that is why his salary is huge for a rookie. Remember HE CHOOSE Nets before Cavs because he wanted to play not to sit on bench behind Evans or Hump. If Howard came Hump or Evans wouldnt be in front of him as they are now.
        7. He as a defensive liability (and he is there is no point even pretend that he isn’t especially in NBA terms) and as such it was originally planed to use his on a floor with a center that is a beast defensively. And with all your respect Brook Lopez is far from it. Pau Gasol is Shaq for Lopez and that is a true.
        8. He cannot play with Lopez without Nets being exposed defensively. With Tele and Lopez it is 3 to 5 defensively for the opponent.
        9. His points (3 pts and jumpers) are the toughest to make in the game because they are from great distance and he would make those shots against anyone regardless who opponent is
        10. Resume: offensive threat (after Joe, Deron and Brook only player in roster IMHO who HAS POTENTIAL to score 20 + points) without demanding ball in his hands for a long period of times, defensive liability (but you can say that for softest quality center Lopez too), he will improve his shooting behind arch – when he came he had to look where the stripe is for god sake (it make me cringe too and I followed him whole carrier), he was great player in Spain a leader, and he has potential for NBA if he continue to improve. He is overpaid for what Nets are using him for now so give him minutes or trade him.
        As for he is not good for a starter I don’t know where comes this obsession with starters that they have to be best five in roster? Greg Popovic destroyed this meaningless rule with Manu who was in reality at least third player in his team but Pop recognises his energy and his minutes were simmilar to Tim’s and Tony’s. Not to mention real quality during Bulls Jazz years Longley and Ostertag had starters quality?

        1. avatar Max Weisberg says:

          Thanks for the breakdown, Eol. Clearly European basketball fans know more about Mirza than most any NBA fan.

          From what I’ve seen, and what I’m trying to argue is that the Nets’ offense would flourish the most if Mirza played with the starters than any of our other PF’s.

          Defensively, I think he’s athletic from what I’ve seen, and as you said is probably not the strongest defender. The reason why I wouldn’t really be bothered by his defensive issues is because our other two PF’s have not been good defensively by any metric, therefore starting Mirza couldn’t be too detrimental. And if theres a matchup he can’t handle, then we put in Evans.

          And yes, even though we haven’t seen it, I know from watching some European highlights that he is much more than a three-point shooter.

        2. avatar Jon C says:

          I’ve got to disagree with this analysis. The focus on Turnovers as how to decide who starts at PF seems bizarre to me. The Nets starting lineup has plenty of scorers in it, including the highest scoring center in the league. Having a PF on the floor who doesn’t have a jump shot shouldn’t be a problem. Plenty of teams in the NBA play a Center and PF one of which doesn’t have anything approaching a jump shot or a post game. Reggie is a little extreme in this regards, but pairing him with one of the best jump shooting Centers seems like it should work. The starting unit with all the shooters and scorers on it seems exactly the best place to hide Reggie’s limited offense.

          As for Mirza, I think it will take the full year for him to make the transition. I think he will extend his range to NBA three distance and become effective. I just don’t think it is is happening this year and since the Nets really should make the playoffs this year, they can’t spend too much time developing him.

          And Hump is actually have a perfectly fine season and there is no reason why he shouldn’t continue to get minutes.

          The Nets are a big team and should play big whenever they can. Avery didn’t get this and he tried to go small throughout the game. But it is going to be rebounding and then getting teams in foul trouble that will be the way for the Nets to beat good teams. If anything, I’d like to see a little of Mirza at the three. And you can do that if the other team is playing a SF that can’t really dribble drive (like a Kyle Korver or Shane Battier).

          1. avatar Max Weisberg says:

            Again, you are missing the point here. It’s not about how many TO’s the PF has. It’s about spacing the floor to alleviate double teams.

            This article is less about Mirza and more about having someone to space the floor and stop double teams on Deron, Brook and Joe.

  7. avatar NJBK44 says:

    Max, you say you have been a NEts fan your whole life. If so, how can you be so down on Hump? Toss out his shooting stats because they come with a lack of cinsistent minutes. The last 2 years he was one of the better PFs in the league. Heck, he was our number 2 scoring option on most nights. I feel with consistent minutes, he ccould be a 10-10 guy again, which is all we need from him. I would like to see more of Mirza on the floor as well, but Hump could certainly contribute more with consistent minutes. Players need rythm and timing to be at their most effective. Look at what more minutes has done for Marshon.

    1. avatar eol says:

      I think that Hump can never be a 10-10 guy again at least not in this current Nets team, not if Nets aspire to be top tier team. Hump is not a player that you can win a championship while he is playing as a starter with meaningful minutes. These 10-10 stat means nothing. He was in a team plagued with injuries of the main players and essentialy did not contribute to his team success, only his personal stat.
      Nets were (I don’t mean to insult anyone but) cannon fodder of NBA 2009/2012 seasons (12-70, 24-58, and 22-44)
      So Hump collected his numbers in a blowouts.

      1. avatar Max Weisberg says:

        Right on here.

        Someone has to get rebounds for a awful teams. Someone has to score, and for a team made up of mostly D-Leaguers last season, Hump was the beneficiary. He’s a well above average rebounder, but he’s not a 10 rebound guy on a good team.

        Same goes for scoring. And it’s not only that, its the fact that he is a very low BBIQ player. Not someone you want to throw out there during playoff time.

  8. avatar PJ Velez says:

    Although we have to find a stretch to play him consistently without risking too many wins, the Nets need to play MT33. I honestly think he’s a decent weak side shot blocker which is something that Evans does not do at all. Rebounding aside, I do not expect MT3 to be a good defender but his offensive game does match up with the way the Nets need to run their offense.

    And put is this way: Do you want to miss on MT3 like the Blazers missed on Petro? Do you really?

  9. avatar NJBK44 says:

    I am all for playing Mirza more, I just think it should come at the expense of Bogans/Stackhouse/Evans.

    1. avatar Max Weisberg says:

      Not Bogans. He is essential to our success. (I am 100% serious also).

  10. avatar Mike Grand says:

    Very odd thread all around. So many confusing points being made.

    Yes, a COUPLE teams play PFs that can’t shoot (honestly, look it up – it’s not that many) but they also have PG, SG, and a SF that could shoot I bet. With Crash at 3, our spacing is terrible. Teams completely ignore Reggie and sorta ignore Crash and double everything involving JJ, Deron or Brook. We get bogged down in ISOs because every other option gets shut down.

  11. Hi everyone,I am from Europe,and you can say I know ALOT about Mirza as he has been one of the best European players in past three years(in Europe).I think that everyone is missing a point here,Mirza is not just a three point shooter,he is much more,one can not average 20+ pts with shooting threes and long distance shots only,Mirza can play arround the basket Mirza can assist,Mirza can make turnarround jumpers(the same way Joe does),his one on one defense isnt poor,his defensive rotations and defensive rebounding are,but his offensive rebounding is great,also you can say Mirza can jump,and he is strong,really strong,just watch some of his European games,he was bullying some elite European defenders in Carmelo Anthony style,and the finishing arround the basket or with an turnarround jumper,he dominated against Batum,he dominated against Randolph,but thats not the point,I want to reply to DWILL-s post about him being a poor player,yeah,you know what you are speaking off regarding to the things you KNOW something about,but saying that about Mirza means that you know NOTHING about him,I mean I could say the same thing about Ty Lawson not knowing that he is an NBA starter when he went to Lithuania,and played as the biggest basketball amateur alive,but I didnt,Deron couldnt play in the same League with Mirza in Europe,does that makes Deron a bad player,or worse player then Mirza? Mirza was an elite Power Forward in Europe,you can see in the NBA when he comes on,that he is the guy that CAN play basketball,and you say that there is no difference in moving from Belgium to Spain and moving from Spain to USA(to a basketball organization,with many different rules,and different size in every therm of the word),yet I believe you are the first one to say that the only thing Yugoslavia,or Greece beat USA is because of the FIBA rules,and change in size,and inches,feel free to reply me,as i want to see your opinion on this subject…

    1. avatar DWILL-of-the-GODZ says:

      @Jasenko Prelic

      Mirza should go back to Europe then because he is a below average NBA player.

      He cant run with the big dogs.

      Europe has inferior talent. It’s where the players who cant play in the NBA go.

      If you are trying to say Mirza is the best of the guys who arent good enough to play in the NBA then your doing a great job.

      I keep HEARING about all these things he can do. I have yet to SEE any.

      1. avatar Max Weisberg says:

        Who cares?

        He spaces the floor for our starters. That is the point of this whole article and it’s something you cannot say he doesn’t do.

        Who gives a crap whether he can play (which he can)? He helps the starters.

      2. Yeah,that three pointer before halftime?Thats below average,that game against Sacramento?Thats below average,you are the one that doesnt get it,Reggie Evans is an below average player,Humph especially,Ill try to quote one genius NBA writer that comes from Europe(and translate him to English).
        ”Its amazing how much Howards coming or not coming effected Nets team build up,when it became clear that he wont come,they signed Gerald Wallace,the same Wallace that they didnt count on after giving really big money to the Bobcats for him being a Net for half a season.The best player in Charlotte history,will reply to his 10 million contract with an all around game that doesnt include shooting threes from corners,a segment that Nets really miss on in their starting lineup,and thats the thing they should’ve spent Geralds money on.Humphries will give help him,Kris is a classic case of a player whos statistics are way better then the game itself,Wallace plays some defense,Humph is criminal on his side of the field,Wallace is an above average rebounder for his size,Humph has his numbers filled up bcs he was playing besides one of the worst center rebounders in the games history.Wallace can put it in from 16 + ft,Humph couldnt his Kim Kardashians ass from that position”. (This guy

        What I am trying to say,and ask you,besides rebounding,what is Humphries good at?And you will say that he is a better player then Mirza,yeah,ofcourse,he is,but,what are his good sides?What good side has Evans besides rebounding and one on one defense? Mirza has a problem with defensive rebounding and some defensive rotations and you call him below average and Humph is a starter caliber?

        1. (This guy doesnt hate Nets,he just loves to put up some critics,in his preseason collumn Nets were ranked at third on the East.)*

          will give him a hand*

      3. Another question DWill.How come All NBA team lost to Greece who had no NBA players,how is that possible?How come Dejan Bodiroga dominated against Carmelo Anthony several times?And Dejan never went to NBA?

  12. avatar N.Ireland Nets says:

    Enjoyed the article Mr Weisberg and I agree with everything you’ve said. Not long ago I attempted to try and show why I believed Teletovic should start for Brooklyn on the Nets RealGM site.

    http://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1229589

    Now, I’m not a good writer or good with terminology so forgive me for that but I just got beyond frustrated watching Evans and Hump make it more difficult for our offence to score when they were on the floor, hence I made the post.

    Anyway theres only one last thing to say… #FreeMirza

    http://i49.tinypic.com/2cpyf0p.gif

    1. avatar Max Weisberg says:

      Thanks for the response.

      Nice job with your piece as well.

      Again as I’ve been saying, it doesn’t matter whether Teletovic can play or not, the fact is that he can space the floor and decrease the TO rate and double-team rate.

    2. avatar DWILL-of-the-GODZ says:

      He looked great tonight shooting 3 airballs.

      LULZ

      1. You are a retarded pissed off kid,dont reply me after this cause Ill ignore you from now on,its not about your meaning or prefering anything about the Nets from the first comment you showed hate to Mirza that escalated now,fuck you,I feel stupid to reply to you before.