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Mirza Teletovic hopes for strong sophomore year

Will MTV's second NBA season be more steady than his first?
10/22/2013 9:58 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

One of three rookies to make the Brooklyn Nets roster last season, forward Mirza Teletovic ended up being the most-used neophyte on Avery Johnson and P.J. Carlesimo’s roster, playing almost as many games as fellow freshmen Tyshawn Taylor and Toko Shengelia combined.

So where does “MTV” fit into a somewhat overhauled Nets roster in 2013-14?

BACKGROUND
After growing up in then war-torn Bosnia and Herzegovina, Teletovic began his pro career by playing in his homeland for two years before leaving for Belgium; he spent two years there as well before moving on to play for Caja Laboral in Spain’s ACB League, where he spent six seasons as one of the cornerstones of the franchise (and eventually the team’s captain) before leaving for the NBA last summer.

LAST SEASON
After reaching a buyout with his Spanish club, Teletovic signed a three-year deal with the Nets last summer and came to America, where the heavily-hyped 6-foot-8 then-27-year-old was expected to be somewhat of a hybrid who could play both forward positions.

However, Teletovic’s playing time as a rookie wavered wildly; he appeared in 53 games for the Nets, all of them coming off the bench, and in that span he saw as little as one minute (against Miami on Dec. 1) at times and as many as 25 (against Atlanta on March 9) – with a nine-game stretch between March 1-18 where he averaged nearly 17 minutes a game being the high-water mark.

Overall, Teletovic ended up averaging 3.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in 9.4 minutes per game.

THIS SEASON
Teletovic’s 2013-14 campaign has already begun in earnest; he played with his home country in September’s EuroBasket tournament, starting all five games and leading Bosnia and Herzegovina in both points (21.0) and rebounds (7.6) per game.

However, with the Nets once again stacked with All-Star quality big men and either Paul Pierce or Joe Johnson technically set to start at small forward on a nightly basis, that EuroBasket performance looks to be the highlight of “MTV’s” year.

He may see more consistent action should Kevin Garnett sit out the latter game of back-to-backs as rumored, but barring a long-term injury, Teletovic’s ceiling looks to be about the same as last year’s; if all goes to plan for the Nets, you can likely expect the now 28-year-old to appear in somewhere between 45 and 60 games as a fourth or fifth forward, average anywhere between eight and 15 minutes on the season, and have a scoring average in the lower half of the single digits once again.

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