In Loss, Mirza Shines

In Loss, Mirza Shines

In a game dominated by a 27-point deficit, a fierce comeback, and word that the head coach may have definitely snuck his way into an extra time-out, one solid performance was nearly lost in the shuffle.

Just two days ago, Nets forward Mirza Teletovic told The Brooklyn Game that he didn’t know if he had a role on the Brooklyn Nets, that he remained hopeful but that it was “tough” to sit out nearly an entire game when he felt he could help the team with his shotmaking and hustle.

Since Teletovic said that to me, he’s played 42 minutes over two games (his two season highs), earning a real spot in Brooklyn’s rotation over Reggie Evans as a backup power forward. While in the first game Teletovic stayed in the background as a decoy, attempting only one shot in 21 minutes, Mirza shined in his role Wednesday night, scoring a career-high 17 points and hitting four three-pointers in the team’s 99-94 loss.

“Sometimes it is tough to be positive, but I really am,” Teletovic said in the locker room following the loss. “I try every game when I get in the game just to bring a lot of energy. Just kind of play, I can’t really explain it. touching everybody, just to give everybody energy and just playing hard, and I think that’s what we need, energy from the bench.”

It wasn’t just three-pointers: Teletovic also banged in the paint, adding five rebounds, one steal, and one emphatic block on a potential posterization, after teammate Paul Pierce had been posterized earlier in the game by Lakers forward by Wesley Johnson. “I don’t think people really know about how physical I am, but I can really do much more things than just shoot, just shoot three-pointers,” Teletovic said after the game.

The Nets signed Teletovic to a three-year contract last offseason in the hopes that he could be their regular backup power forward and stretch the floor with his shooting. After thinking he might not get a real chance, that might just happen after all.