Before the Nets-Raptors series began, I picked Mirza Teletovic as my Nets X-Factor, citing his improved shooting from Year 1 to Year 2 as a reason why he might become this team’s Steve Kerr or Robert Horry when the team needed a score from a player that doesn’t garner a double-team or make headlines. Teletovic was that guy in one game — Game 5, as he was the only Nets player other than Joe Johnson to put up numbers to help lead the team back from their 26-point deficit. But outside of that game, he’s largely been invisible.
The vaunted Nets bench, cited as one of their team’s biggest strengths, hasn’t made much of a splash. Teletovic is their highest-ranking bench scorer, averaging 8.7 points per game in the series (17 in Game 5), and Andray Blatche has had two surprisingly good quarters defensively. But the Nets have relied on their big names to pull through, with varied results.
In a Game 7, it’s often the accomplishments of unheralded role players that shock the world. Could it be Teletovic? Mason Plumlee? Andray Blatche? Marcus Thornton? Or will it come from Toronto?