1. Mirza Teletovic at PF, Kevin Garnett at C
Together in 2013-14: 10 G, 67 MIN, 128.5 points scored per 100 possessions, 109.4 points allowed per 100 possessions, 19.0 net rating
Highest rank: 1st
Lowest rank: 4th
Most common rank: 1st
Devin’s rank: 2nd
Average rank: 2.2
Max’s take: No matter who starts, the Nets are going to need their frontcourt players to step up more than ever to even have a shot at making the playoffs in this severely despondent Eastern Conference. But Mirza Teletovic is their best option.
Teletovic is a spot-up shooter who relies heavily on the dribble penetration of Deron Williams to create open looks from three. In 74 minutes with Williams on the court this season, Teletovic is shooting 46.4% (64.3 eFG%) while scoring 1.37 points per possession. He’s also shooting 10-21 from three (47.6%) with all ten of his threes being assisted. Of his 13 made field goals with Williams on the court, 12 of them have been assisted.
With Williams off the court this season, Teletovic is shooting just 36.1% (47.6 eFG%) while scoring just 1.03 points per possession. His three point percentage drops to 38.8% and his percent-of-field-goals-assisted rate drops to 73.3%.
In 20 minutes with Teletovic, Williams and Garnett on the floor together this season, the Nets own a Net Rating of +75.1 (164.6 OffRtg, 89.4 DefRtg). Though it’s a small sample, a shooter like Teletovic can keep the offense free-flowing.
Putting Teletovic in the starting lineup would also move Kevin Garnett back to the center position — a position he thrived in for the past several seasons in Boston upon the departure of Kendrick Perkins.
It remains to be seen what coach Jason Kidd does with his rotation with Lopez sidelined for the season. As he’s said about Paul Pierce coming off the bench, it’s not about who starts the game, but more about who finishes it. But for now, the best option for the Nets is to use Mirza Teletovic in that role. Not bad for someone who didn’t know if he had a role with this team at all a month ago.
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