Hey... I get it. Sometimes you gotta tie your shoe. Even if that sometimes is in a professional basketball game, and it comes when Andre Drummond -- who leads all rookies in rebound rate by a wide margin -- is the guy you're supposed to box out. At least Teletovic hit two threes in the first half.
In game 81, with four of five starters, Role Star Hip Hop Keith Bogans, and immortal skeleton Jerry Stackhouse all sitting out with various "ailments," The Brooklyn Nets still pulled out a 106-101 victory over the Washington Wizards, thanks to the greatest, most absurd bench mob performance ever. Between a 20-10 game from Andray Blatche that barely begins to describe his night, a 20-9 game from Kris Humphries, Tornike Shengelia's first career double-double, Tyshawn Taylor's 3-for-3 night from deep, and Mirza Teletovic's two threes, the Nets barely missed their starters.
Watch the bench mob in its most glorious performance of the season:
In a fabulous interview with Barclays Center TV host Alyonka Larionov, Brooklyn Nets forward Mirza Teletovic talks about everything from the Bosnian War, basketball, his lack of playing time, his children, and life's essentials. The 27-year old rookie also talks about how adjusting to US life has been difficult at times, but that he will continue to stick with it and work harder to make things work.
As we've seen on previous episodes of "The Association," Teletovic talks about living through the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a child. He tells of how the war has not allowed him to take things for granted and how his father does not allow him to complain about anything in the present day. Teletovic, who married at 21, also talks about his family life, noting that his kids are still adjusting to this area.
On his lack of playing time, Teletovic seems to have a great understanding of why he has received little court-time this season. He says he often likes to put himself in head coach P.J. Carlesimo's shoes and understands that with NBA veterans such Reggie Evans and Kris Humphries playing the PF position, that it's hard to crack the rotation as a rookie.
Check out the advanced box score from last night's 113-96 Nets victory over the Mavericks here.
A few takeaways from last night's game:
- First and foremost: Check out these two shot charts.
Pretty similar, right? The first is Lopez's shot chart in his game last season in Dallas, when he put up 38 points in a 93-92 victory. The second is Lopez's short chart from last night's game in Dallas. Lopez took care of offensive business in nearly the exact same fashion: hanging around the rim, shooting just one or two jumpers, and dismantling Dallas's interior defense with cuts to the basket and post-ups that Chris Kaman didn't know how to defend. Too bad they won't face off in the playoffs.
- Similarly encouraging: Lopez's 11 rebounds, 18% rebound rate, and seven big offensive rebounds. The Nets and Mavericks shot nearly identically from the field -- 50.6% from Brooklyn, 50% from Dallas -- but the Nets picked up nine more field goal attempts, many thanks to those second chances created by Lopez.
- I've said it in this space before, but it bears repeating: Deron Williams being great is starting to get mundane and I love it. He got a bit lucky hitting consecutive midrange jumpers in the fourth quarter, but Branch Rickey once said that luck is the residue of design. So, solid design, Deron Williams. A 31-point game in his hometown, a continued trend upward of shots at or near the rim, and another solid game from beyond the arc? Good start to this road trip.
- Mark Cuban's struggle face is now my new favorite face:
I do not have the ability to make GIFs. I'm counting on you, internet.
- Another exciting thing: the Nets were down 10 after the first quarter and won by 17. That type of comeback never happened in previous years. You could often tell the direction of a Nets game after the first 12 minutes, and if they went down 10 last season after one they'd basically pack it up. Not anymore.
- Worth noting that the Mavericks attacked Lopez and Blatche inside -- as most teams do -- but shot a below-average mark from within five feet (14/26). Usually I think that Lopez is a good man defender in the post but struggles on help; last night I thought the opposite was true.
- Andray Blatche scored 14 points, all in the second quarter on perfect 6-6 shooting, because Andray Blatche is an indescribable maniac. He hit a fadeaway over Dirk Nowitzki and the space-time continuum began to rip.
- Mirza Teletovic and MarShon Brooks were the first two players off the bench (with Keith Bogans), played about a two-minute stretch in the first quarter... and then sat until garbage time. Neither player did anything of consequence in either stretch.
- The Big 3 of Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, and Brook Lopez was a +13 in seven minutes when they shared the floor with Role Star Hip Hop and three-point/defensive wing specialist Keith Bogans. I'M JUST SAYING.
- Reggie Evans rebounded 42% of all live rebounds and 66% of all defensive rebounds available when he was on the floor. The league average is 10%. Yawn.
The 35-26 Brooklyn Nets have split the first two games against the 19-40 Washington Wizards, winning an overtime game in Brooklyn and losing a laugher in Washington that Billy King was able to witness firsthand. The series returns to Brooklyn tonight, and in honor of the final matchup of the season between these two teams, here's three things I think you guys should pay close attention to.... MORE →
While you may disagree on the order of importance, any reasonable fan, analyst, or writer would agree that Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez are the three most important players to the Brooklyn Nets. Each player serves as an important fulcrum to the lineup, which is why the Nets play sparse minutes without at least one of them on the floor.
Because of that, I decided to take a look deeper into the numbers, to see how the Nets play when the "Big 3" share minutes with the team's role players. Specifically, I wanted to answer this question: how is the starting lineup best handled with the team's best players?
Because of that, I took a look at five Nets players who have the best chance of shaking up (or getting shaken out of) the rotation as the season winds down. Using the team's plus-minus when the Nets "Big 3" shared the floor with those players as a baseline, here's a list of what I think are the best role players to have in the lineup with those three guys.
Before we look at those five players, here's a list of (dis)honorable mentions... MORE →
A story out of the NY Post today describes the bumpy ride it's been this season for Nets sharp-shooteing power forward and former European star, Mirza Teletovic.
As Tim Bontemps notes in his story, playing time for Teletovic has been slim and hard to come by. Even though he's seen an uptick in his minutes under Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo (9 MPG) as opposed to former coach Avery Johnson (6 MPG), he's been inserted at tough spots. He says he's been trying to think less:
“I just have to find the fun in basketball again,” Teletovic said recently. “Not think about it too much, and just have fun.”
“Sometimes I just start thinking too much,” Teletovic said. “I think about the mistakes I make, because I’m not a young guy and I’ve played a long time and I know basketball, so you start thinking about mistakes.”
Recently, in the Nets 101-97 win over New Orleans on Tuesday, Teletovic was inserted into the game with about 6 minutes left in the 4th quarter and pulled after about a minute. These sporadic, second half showings have been fairly common for Teletovic lately. In the Nets previous two game before the win against the Hornets, Teletovic played about 17 and 14 minutes respectively. In the game in which he totaled about 17 minutes (all in the second half) vs. Houston, he set a career high with 12 points. Even though his offense seemed to be working, it was clear he still had much work to do defensively. Following that game, he was given another opportunity vs. Memphis where he played about 14 minutes and seemingly sparked a Nets run late in the during the 4th quarter that eventually came up just short. Not only did Teletovic look like he was gaining confidence on offense, but his defense seemed leaps and bounds better than what it had been against Houston.
Tuesday's short 4th quarter stint was a discouraging sign though. After the game, Carlesimo noted that he "didn't like the matchup" for Teletovic with New Orleans big men Ryan Anderson and Jason Smith. If this is the case, one has to wonder why Teletovic was allowed to play vs. Memphis; a team that features two of the best big-men in the game in Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. For those clamoring for more court time for Mirza (yes, that includes me), the fact that Carlesmio does not think that a player such as Jason Smith is "not a good matchup" for Teletovic does not bode well.
Even with the lack of playing time, Teletovic remains positive and notes that the biggest thing so far has just been adjustments with his role:
“I just want to play hard and help guys out and after a couple minutes you start to feel comfortable,” Teletovic said. “After not playing for five or six games, then you get in and play, it’s an adjustment.”
Brooklyn Nets forward Mirza Teletovic hasn't had the smoothest road in the NBA: in 53 games, Teletovic has logged spotty playing time, punctuated with similarly inconsistent play. But when he's on, he's on. Check out his full highlight reel from the first half of the season, complete with insane fallaway shots, rhythmic spot-up threes, and SKY MIRZA.
Though it hasn't always been good, the first half of the first season in Brooklyn Nets history has been nothing if not interesting. A franchise-record start led by Jerry Stackhouse and Reggie Evans, a Coach of the Month fired less than a month later, a sudden resurgence led by an interim coach nobody expected to last long, an inevitable slide, a first-time All-Star voted in only after being snubbed... It's been a roller-coaster ride worthy of Coney Island.
As we slide into the All-Star Break with the Nets all but assured a playoff spot and still very much in the hunt for first place in the Atlantic Division, it only makes sense that we take our game-by-game feature -- grading the game -- and stretch it across the season. In honor of the first half, what follows are midseason grades for each Brooklyn Nets player, plus interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.
Enjoy. (Or don't. Don't let me tell you what to do.)
|Start: Andray Blatche|