One of the things that should be interesting about how Jason Kidd handle’s the Brooklyn Nets this year is exactly how he goes about utilizing Mirza Teletovic. Last year, Teletovic came in with a reputation as a sharpshooter, but never really got a chance to show what he was capable. He never got a chance to play a lot of minutes and when he did play it was sporadic.
Now, coming off of a strong performance at the FIBA EuroBasket tournament, he feels like he’s in great shape and is looking forward to the opportunity that a new coaching staff will give him.
“I think it’s very important to get a chance to show what you can do,” Teletovic said. “If you don’t have a chance there is no point. You have to have a chance. I think last year I played 35 games, nine minutes a game. Anybody in my situation would have had my results or worse. It’s tough to play like that.
“The experience I have, I can adjust to things, but last year I didn’t play. If I played 35 games, 9 minutes a game each game, if it was nine minutes every time out then OK fine. But I didn’t do that, I played five games or 10 games and then didn’t play three or four games. It’s very, very tough. You can’t be put into a game randomly and be told to make four shots. You just can’t do it.”
This year will likely be much different as both Avery Johnson and P.J. Carlesimo are gone. Both of those coaches gravitated toward an isolation style offense that focused on either Joe Johnson or Andray Blatche. This year, with Kidd at the helm, it should be more of a spread out offense with more ball movement and pick and rolls. This should be a better style for Teletovic to fit into.
With Teletovic coming off of the EuroBasket tournament, he’s coming into the season in good shape and with a lot of confidence as well.
“It helps a lot,” Teletovic said of playing in the tournament just before the season. “It prepares you to be in game shape. I’m glad I had the opportunity to play in Eurobasket and come into the season in the right shape.”
Teletovic averaged 21.0 points and 7.6 rebounds per game while shooting 42.2 percent and 34.9 percent behind the arc in five games at Eurobasket last month. The strong performance got attention from some European teams who wondered if he might not be happy in Brooklyn and could convince him to leave. He’s pretty adamant about staying though.
“I would say, I have had a lot of people ask me if I was going to stay,” Teletovic said. “I will say it again, my goal is to play for the Nets because that was my goal from the beginning and I decided to come here because this is where I wanted to be not because of money. This team has people who invest and try to put the best team to win out there and I will practice hard and try to do my best.”
The move to America was also kind of hard on Teletovic last year and he probably doesn’t want to go through that again so soon without trying his best to succeed. So for right now, Teletovic seems to be in a better position with the coaching staff, is coming off a strong tournament performance, and is in the right position to show what he can do this season.