Posted on: October 10th, 2014 by William Rausch Comments

 

previous-2next-2
 
 
teletovic laughMirza Teletovic on Twitter
Height: 6'9"
Weight: 240 lbs.
Date of Birth: September 17, 1985
Years Pro: 2
Before NBA: Caja Laboral Baskonia (Spain)
Drafted: Undrafted
Nickname: MT3, Fearza
- Full Stats -

It’s been a tale of two seasons for the Brooklyn Nets Bosnian import. The 6'9" Teletovic came stateside for the 2013-14 season as a celebrated Euroleague player, and figured to challenge for the starting power forward spot in Brooklyn. Neither Nets coach Avery Johnson, nor interim successor P.J. Carlesimo, saw it this way, and Teletovic only played 9.4 minutes per game in just 53 games.

It didn't help that when the Nets actually did #FreeMirza, he did things like airball three straight shots in front of a Bosnian-rich crowd in Detroit. 

Conversely, 2014-15 saw Fearza enter the season with little expectations, only to become an important cog in the Nets aging wheel.

The short-lived Jason Kidd regime saw Teletovic’s minutes more than double to 19.4 per in 72 games. For Teletovic, it was a a new lease on life. He splashed the smirk seen 'round the world against King James. He assimilated to Brooklyn life with hipster glasses. He joined Twitter. He went from airballing threes in Detroit to dropping 20 on the Pistons in Brooklyn.

Most importantly, he became the Nets best 3-point shooter not nicknamed after a prominent religious figure. Teletovic improved his three-point shooting to 39%, draining 136 shots from deep.

With starting power forward Kevin Garnett on an inexorable march to AARP membership, and Paul Pierce departing for D.C., Teletovic is poised for an even bigger role as a stretch four for the Nets in 2014-15. Yes, new Nets coach Lionel Hollins ran Grizzlies teams predicated on post play and defense, neither of which are Teletovic’s strong suits. But in his opening presser, Hollins expressed his desire to play a more up-tempo style than the Nets did last year and he noted that he has more shooters in Brooklyn than he did in Memphis. Sounds like a system where Teletovic fits.

To ultimately win over Hollins, Teletovic will need to improve on the defensive end. He'll never have the lateral quickness necessary to guard wings, so he'll have to focus on increasing his strength to become an effective post defender. If this Bosnian interview is any indication,Teletovic will get where he needs to be physically if he sticks to his wife's cooking. 

That interview was given in late August while Teletovic was helping his homeland qualify for EuroBasket 2015, leading Bosnia to a 4-0 record in the second round of qualification as the top scorer in the rounds at 26.3 points per game. Teletovic would have rather played this summer against Nets teammates Mason Plumlee (USA), Jorge Guiterrez (Mexico) and Bosnian native/Croatian national, Bojan Bogdanovic. But Bosnia was denied one of the four wild card spots to the 2014 FIBA World Cup, something Teletovic -- not unsurprisingly -- disagreed with

Teletovic will return stateside a newly minted 27-year-old making $3.4 million in the last year of his contract. I'd like to see him stay longer. He is a useful rotational player, he's entertaining, and the man has no conscience when it comes to hoisting up the rock. Just check his things on YouTube, man. This unwavering fealty in his shot does have its liabilities (see: Detroit, 2013), but it also led him to setting a franchise record for threes in a playoff game with six in a Game 2 loss to Miami in May. 

This Pandora's box of Teletovic was never more apparent than in Philadelphia in April, when Fearza followed up a crunch time three airball with a crunch time three drain job. It was nerve-wracking. It was dramatic. It was the spirit of Bosnia. It was Brooklyn Nets basketball. 

previous-2next-2

 

sameralsabbagh22 via instagram

Picture 1 of 13

sameralsabbagh22 via instagram

 

Mirza Teletovic: 72 G, 7 GS, 19.4 MPG, 8.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.40 SPG, 0.32 BPG, .0.418 FG% .0.390 3P%, .0.710 FT%, 14.38 PER, 2.0 EWA

AP

AP

grade-bWhat a difference a year makes, huh?

Under a new coach and in a new situation, Mirza Teletovic had himself a much improved 2013-14 campaign, tossing threes at the rim with suave confidence. Without hesitation, Teletovic shot his way into our hearts, but he cemented himself there permanently in January: after famously smirking and laughing in LeBron James' face, Teletovic went on to score 34 points by way of seven threes against Dallas.

Teletovic's man-to-man defense also improved, and he's no longer a liability on that end. In fact, he even spent a fair amount of time guarding James, with varied success, which is more than most can hope for. He put up the smirk of the season. Teletovic even played some center in Kidd's mircoball rotation, further stretching Brooklyn's floor.

Fearza's unwavering confidence can frustrate, but there's a very short list of players that can shift a game's momentum in the blink of an eye. Mirza Teletovic can do that with the right shots. So keep doing you, Mirza.

MUST-WATCH: LeBron James erupts on Mirza Teletovic after flagrant foul as Teletovic laughs at him

previous-2next-2

 

ap959755368132_4

Picture 1 of 10

 

Three straight wins. No ties. (AP)

Three straight wins. No ties. (AP)

Good morning, Nets fans and luxury tax lovers. Thank you for your support of The Brooklyn Game. Be a part of the magic and improve your already incredible wardrobe with a t-shirt from The Brooklyn Game Store. Your contributions keep us going.

Here's another look at last night's Nets going Nets.
... MORE →

 

Mirza Teletovic

Mirza Teletovic, confident. (AP)

One month ago, The Brooklyn Game reported that frustrated Brooklyn Nets forward Mirza Teletovic wasn't sure if he had a role in Brooklyn with the Nets.

One day ago, Teletovic set a career-high in points for the third time since that interview.

What a difference a month makes.

... MORE →

Brook’s out. Now what?

Posted on: December 23rd, 2013 by Devin Kharpertian Comments

 

Brook Lopez

Where do the Nets go from here without Brook Lopez? (AP)

Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd has his biggest challenge yet. With no move imminent and a deep rotation, he's looking towards his bench to fill the enormous gap left by a broken foot to Nets center Brook Lopez, which will sideline him for the rest of the season. The loss is a crushing one; Lopez was the team's best scorer and rapidly evolving into a solid paint protector.

Garnett will stay in the starting lineup, but can play both power forward and center, giving the Nets a little flexibility.

So who will replace Lopez in the starting lineup?

I asked about a dozen contributors both from The Brooklyn Game and YES Network to look at five potential starting lineups the Nets could use, ranking them from 1st to 5th. What follows is the list, ordered by average ranking from 5th to 1st. You'll also see the highest, lowest, and most common ranking, as well as my ranking and a breakdown on the idea from either myself or Max Weisberg.

Additionally, there's a poll on the side. Let us know what you think by voting and commenting below.

Start Here: The 5th best lineup idea

HIGHLIGHT: Fearza Unleashed

Posted on: December 23rd, 2013 by Devin Kharpertian Comments

 

The Brooklyn Nets inserted Mirza Teletovic into the starting lineup following the news that Brook Lopez will miss the rest of the season with a broken foot, and it paid dividends as early as the first quarter. Teletovic snuck backdoor on a fast-break and threw down an alley-oop from Deron Williams, putting the Nets up 8-2 in the first two minutes of the game.

If Teletovic can hit shots, run the floor, and play passable defense, he's got a role with the starting lineup.

 

Mirza Teletovic, Alan Anderson, Josh Harrellson

On left: Mirza Teletovic. (AP)

Less than a month ago, Brooklyn Nets forward Mirza Teletovic told The Brooklyn Game he wasn't sure if he had a role with the Brooklyn Nets.

Now, in the team's first game without Brook Lopez, Mirza Teletovic makes his way into the Brooklyn Nets starting lineup, and it looks like it's his spot to lose.
... MORE →