Starting Five: Teletovic's hot hand

January, 7, 2014
Jan 7
6:00
AM ET
NEW YORK -- Mirza Teletovic is playing with confidence.

And that confidence was on full display late in the fourth quarter of the Brooklyn Nets’ 91-86 win over the Atlanta Hawks at Barclays Center.

With 44.6 seconds left and the Nets holding an 86-84 lead, Teletovic drained a corner 3-pointer to give them some much-needed breathing room.

“I’m very confident,” said Teletovic, who finished with 16 points and went 4-for-9 from beyond the arc. “I feel really comfortable out there. Like when we’re playing good, when we’re playing the way we’re supposed to play, you’re just having fun on the court.”

In his last seven games, Teletovic is averaging 13.3 points on 47.7 percent shooting from 3-point range.

Teletovic endured a difficult rookie season. His minutes were sporadic. He never was able to earn the trust of the coaching staff.

This season has been a different story -- especially of late.

Teletovic credits Nets coach Jason Kidd for much of his success.

“For me it’s an amazing experience. You have someone that talks to you day in and day out telling you what you have to do,” Teletovic said. “He just draws up a play, tells me, ‘Look stay here, you’re gonna get a wide-open shot. I get a wide-open shot. And the next play, you’re thinking, ‘OK they know I made a shot.’ And then he draws up one more and says, ‘Stay right here.’ And again, I get a wide-open shot. I just do what he says, and you get what you want.”

What the Nets are getting is a very valuable member of their team that has flourished in both starting and reserve roles.

“We’ve always counted on him to be able to knock down the three, and tonight he did that for us,” Kidd said. “Again, we can look at his offense, but I thought his defense was big for us too -- being able to switch on smaller players and being able to keep them in front.”

Question: What do you think about the way Teletovic has played?

In case you missed it: “Joe Jesus” saved the Nets and their defense stepped it up, while Deron Williams missed the game due to a sprained left ankle.

Things to know: Andrei Kirilenko (back spasms) said he felt good after logging 21 minutes.

The Nets started their 16th different lineup of the season. They shot 1-for-12 from 3-point range in the first half, 7-for-15 in the second half. Kevin Garnett recorded double-digit rebounds for just the third time this season.

Up next: The Nets are off Tuesday.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Brook Lopez
PTS AST STL MIN
20.7 0.9 0.5 31.4
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsK. Garnett 6.6
AssistsD. Williams 6.1
StealsD. Williams 1.5
BlocksB. Lopez 1.8

NEW YORK CALENDAR