Mirza Teletovic says he couldn’t gain confidence with inconsistent playing time

Mirza Teletovic said it was hard to gain confidence with so little playing time last year, but thinks he can regain it back playing in EuroBasket this fall. AP Photo.

Mirza Teletovic said it was hard to gain confidence with so little playing time last year, but thinks he can regain it back playing in EuroBasket this fall. AP Photo.

In an English language interview with Sport Eagle TV (a German station), Mirza Teletovic admitted that he struggled in his first season in the NBA because he was not able to gain confidence due to lack of consistent playing time. That’s no surprise, but the 6-foot-9 Bosnian born Teletovic thinks that he can successfully regain his confidence playing in EuroBasket this fall.

It’s tough for all the European players during the first year in the NBA, especially if you don’t get a lot of playing time, you can’t get confidence, you can’t really get into rhythm,” Teletovic said. “I couldn’t catch five, six games in a row. I was always one game out.

“You’re missing the confidence, you’re missing your game,” he continued. “So I think for me it’s important to come back here to Europe and still have lot of minutes to play here, and have other things and lots of practice.”

Teletovic has done well during Bosnia’s friendlies that lead up to the EuroBasket tournament. It wasn’t the fastest start as he averaged less than 20 points per game in his first few starts. That could be attributed to a little lack of conditioning on his part, but lately he has come on strong and averaged 24.7 points per game during a three-game mini-tournament.

There are still a couple of friendlies left before the tournament, which starts on Sept. 4. The Nets front office and coaching staff are likely paying close attention to Teletovic during these games. Jason Kidd has already said that Teletovic will be an important part of this year’s team and a lot could be riding on this.

If he can in fact get his confidence up and regain consistency that he lost last season it’s possible that he could see more time than Reggie Evans. Evans was more necessary last season because of a lack of defense on the Nets, but with Kevin Garnett and Andrei Kirilenko, two players with great defensive reputations, on the roster it could be that the Nets prefer Teletovic’s shot to Evans’ ability to rebound. How well he looks in this tournament could potentially go a long way into diving up minutes, especially early on during the season.