It didn’t take Mirza Teletovic long to make his case.
The second-year forward out of Yugoslavia was outstanding in the Brooklyn Nets‘ 111-106 win over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday during the team’s first preseason game of 2013. Teletovic was good for 15 points in only 19 minutes of action, shooting 50 percent from the field overall at 4-of-8 and going 3-of-7 from three. He also added six rebounds, an assist and a steal on the night.
Rookie head coach Jason Kidd didn’t shy away from calling Teletovic important to the Nets’ cause this summer, despite the fact the reserve small forward only competed in 53 games last season, averaging just 9.4 minutes per contest. Teletovic made Kidd look pretty sharp for expressing that type of confidence in him – especially already after having signed veteran forward Andrei Kirilenko – following his impressive performance.
But the buck doesn’t stop there. If Teletovic continues to play at this sort of clip throughout the rest of the preseason, Kidd will have to show off his smarts yet again in finding him consistent, significant minutes.
As a lethal long-distance shooter at 6-foot-9, Teletovic can be a game-changer on any given night. Opponents are already aware that they have to put maximum effort into making sure that the likes of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett don’tbeat them, but an extra weapon like Teletovic could turn into another nightmare that keeps coaches turning at night if he takes advantage of playing time in this type of manner.
Even with all the hype for the trade and signings the Nets made this summer, it looks like a player they already had in Teletovic could be a big-time difference-maker.