Tornike Shengelia: Lost in Translation (SEASON GRADE)

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By the numbers: 19 G, 0 GS, 4.9 MPG, 1.6 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.2 APG, 0.2 SPG, 0.1 BPG, .435 FG%, .500 3P%, .563 FT%, .499 TS%, .457 eFG%

Advanced: 8.5 PER, 86 ORtg, 106 DRtg, 20.3 USG%, 11.4 ORB%, 17.9 DRB%, 14.6 TRB%, 5.1 AST%, 1.7 STL%, 0.8 BLK%, 26.8 TOV%, -0.1 estimated wins added

Nets forward Tornike Shengelia played 93 minutes in 19 games this season. To put that in context, Chicago guard Jimmy Butler played 96 minutes in Games 6 and 7 of the Nets/Bulls series. Toko didn’t even dress for either of those games, or any playoff games for that matter.

The 21-year-old Georgian import talked his way onto the Brooklyn Nets summer league team after being taken in the second round of the 2012 draft, and then played his way onto the 15-man roster, but he wasn’t able to talk his way into much playing time before going down with a concussion in late January. Tornike Shengelia AKA #TokoLoco AKA The Tokomotive would spend the rest of the season recovering from the concussion, becoming a veteran of the commute from Brooklyn to Springfield, MA and occasionally playing garbage minutes in NBA games.

Toko had a season total of 30 points on 10-23 shooting, grabbing 23 rebounds in his sparse playing time. He only cracked double-digit minutes twice, bookending his rookie year with 12 minutes in a loss to the Heat in November and 25 minutes against the Wizards in the penultimate regular season game.

WATCH: Tornike Shengelia’s Career Night

Billy King had fun with his unlimited D-League mobility for Shengelia, sending the rookie down to the Springfield Armor and subsequently calling him back up on five separate occasions this season. The longest stay in the D-League was nine days and the shortest was less than 24 hours.  In total, Toko played ten games for the Armor, totaling solid per game averages of 24.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.0 block. His intermittent stays in the birthplace of basketball included a 39-point, 18-rebound, six-assist game in January that would make whomever the LeBron James of the D-League is blush.

High Point: Shengelia recorded his first double-digit scoring game and first career double-double in his final appearance of the season on April 15.  In 25 minutes of play, the Tokomotive had 11 points on 5-13 shooting, grabbed 11 rebounds, recorded two blocks and forced a five-second violation with his inbound defense.

Low Point: Playing only 93 minutes this season? On the court, his 0-3 shooting night in a whopping 2:38 of play at Atlanta on March 9th.

My favorite moment: Occurred before Barclays Center was complete or the Nets even had Brooklyn jerseys. Toko’s Summer League performance was magical for the tens of us who are pathetic enough to watch Orlando Summer League basketball; from Dennis Scott trying to pronounce Tornike’s name/come up with nicknames to Toko’s ballsy drives to the basket and off-balance shots. The Summer League also brought us Swamp People extra Adam Morrison scoring the first-ever points for an incarnation of the Brooklyn Nets and the only 7-footer doofier than Brook Lopez, Cornell grad Jeff Foote.

Final Grade:

(But really an incomplete)

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Full List:
Deron Williams | Joe Johnson | Gerald Wallace | Reggie Evans | Brook Lopez | Andray Blatche | C.J. Watson | Keith Bogans | Kris Humphries | MarShon Brooks | Mirza Teletovic | Tyshawn Taylor | Tornike Shengelia