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Starting Five: Teletovic's coming out party

11/28/2013

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets forward Mirza Teletovic was asked if his performance in Wednesday night’s 99-94 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers was the best basketball he’s played in his brief NBA career.

“I guess so. I don’t know. I really don’t know. I guess it is,” Teletovic said.

No need to be modest, Mirza. The answer is unequivocally, YES.

The seldom-used Teletovic erupted in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 of his career-high 17 points. He knocked down a career-high four 3-pointers and went 5-for-6 from the free throw stripe.

In 21 minutes, he also grabbed five rebounds and came from the weak side to block Lakers forward Wesley Johnson’s layup attempt with 4:52 left.

Oh yeah. It was "#Fearza" time at Barclays Center.

“I don’t know if people really know about how physical I am, but I can really do much more than just shoot,” Teletovic said. “This is what we need and this is what I try to bring every night as much as I can.”

Teletovic’s time in the league has been quite the struggle. His playing time has been sporadic. He’s questioned his role. Rumors have swirled that he wants to go back and play in Europe.

But none of that mattered Wednesday night. Not when Teletovic was having the impact the Nets always hoped he would when they signed him to a three-year, $10 million contract two summers ago.

“Sometimes it’s tough to to be positive, but I really am,” Teletovic said. “I try every game when I get in the game just to bring a lot of energy. Just kind of play, I can’t really explain it. Touching everybody, just to give everybody energy and just playing hard, and I think that’s what we need, energy from the bench.”

If Teletovic keeps playing like this, he’s going to find his way into the rotation. His floor-spacing ability is huge. And if he plays this type of defense? Look out.

“I think for me, of course it was very important to have KG [Kevin Garnett] next to me and then Paul [Pierce] and then D-Will [Deron Williams] and Reggie [Evans and all the guys talking to me, and my friend Toko (Tornike Shengelia] here, all the time giving me positive thoughts,” Teletovic said. “Just to be positive about everything, just to come out. Of course it’s a big thing. Come out in a big game like this and feel good, but it’s tough to lose.”

Eh. Consider this a victory for Mirza. A significant one, at that.

In case you missed it: Well, there was Cupgate.

There was also a bad pass from Paul Pierce and some poor execution down the stretch. Ohm Youngmisuk has that covered here.

Also, my notebook, too.

Thanks: Just want to give thanks to all of you that read the blog and make this job fun. It is greatly appreciated. Your thoughts and insights are always welcome.

Question: What are you most thankful for as a Nets fan? (Umm ... playing in the Eastern Conference?)

Up next: Thanksgiving, then a game against the Rockets in Memphis on Friday night.