Brooklyn Nets: Mirza Teletovic

Rapid Reaction: Nets 116, Pistons 104

April, 4, 2014
Apr 4
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NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets finally solved the Detroit Pistons.

The Nets, who came in 0-3 against the Pistons, scored a 116-104 victory over floundering Detroit on Friday night at Barclays Center.

Brooklyn hit 15 3-pointers and won its 15th straight game at home.

What it means: The Nets (41-34) keep pace in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. The Toronto Raptors beat the Indiana Pacers, so Brooklyn remains 2½ games back in the Atlantic Division.

The Nets are 22-2 in their past 24 in Brooklyn. They were outrebounded 46-26 and outscored in the paint 52-48, but they shot 60.5 percent from the field and won the bench-scoring battle 55-33. They have scored 100 or more points in their past 10 home games.

Tele dials it up: Mirza Teletovic, who came in averaging 10.5 points in April, had 20 points on Friday night. He went 6-for-10 from 3-point range. Teletovic is the only player in the NBA this season to make six or more 3s off the bench three times.

The Nets hit their first seven 3-pointers of the second quarter to open up a 51-31 lead.

Always a steal: Deron Williams, who finished with eight points and 10 assists, has a steal in 25 straight games -- one shy of the franchise record.

Living it up: Shaun Livingston shot 11-for-14 from the field and finished with 23 points, six assists and four rebounds. Andray Blatche, Paul Pierce and Marcus Thornton also scored in double figures.

Return of AK-47: Andrei Kirilenko returned to the lineup following a six-game absence due to a sprained left ankle. Kevin Garnett missed his 19th straight game due to back spasms.

Up next: The Nets travel to Philadelphia to face the 76ers on Saturday night.

Thornton thrives off the bench vs. Bucks

March, 2, 2014
Mar 2
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MILWAUKEE -- Marcus Thornton came off the bench to make sure the Brooklyn Nets headed home with a winning record on their circus road trip.

[+] EnlargeMarcus Thornton
Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty ImagesMarcus Thornton stepped up in Milwaukee.
Thornton, who was acquired by Brooklyn in a trade with the Sacramento Kings on Feb. 19, scored a game-high 25 points -- 12 in the fourth quarter -- leading the Nets to a 107-98 win over the Milwaukee Bucks Saturday night at BMO Harris Bradley Center.

The 26-year-old guard had shot just 7-for-18 from the field in his first two games with his new team. But he stepped up down the stretch, hitting a pair of 3-pointers to keep the Bucks at bay as starters Deron Williams and Joe Johnson watched from the bench.

"I kind of felt disrespected because [Jeff Adrien] played so far back," Thornton joked. "It was one of those things. I tried to make the shots when the opportunity presented itself."

The Nets (28-29) ended up with a 4-2 record on their circus trip.

"This is a very positive road trip starting in Utah, but understanding the last game is always the hardest because you’re thinking of getting home after 10, 11 days," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "The guys came out from the start and put us in a position to win the game."

Thornton finished 8-for-13 shooting, including 4-for-7 from beyond the arc and 5-for-6 from the free throw line. He paced a bench that contributed 54 points in the victory.

"He competed very well on the defensive end," Kidd said. "One of the biggest things is it gives the other guys a chance to catch their breath on the bench, especially after a long trip and then a big week at home."

Kidd said that Thornton allowed him to rest Johnson and Williams. Johnson didn’t play in the fourth, while Williams played just 6:05 in the final period.

Williams hit three of his first four shots but hurt himself early in the second quarter as he was defending a driving Ramon Sessions and shot just 3-for-12 from the field the rest of the way. He was seen in the locker room with ice on his forearm but told reporters he doesn’t think it’s too serious. Johnson went 2-for-9 from the field.

Notes: Shaun Livingston had six dunks and finished with 14 points … The sparse crowd at the Bradley Center gave Jason Collins a healthy round of applause when he entered the game with 7:49 left in the second quarter … Mirza Teletovic picked up a technical in the second for arguing a foul call. … Kidd joked that it would take two or three years before Mason Plumlee developed a jump shot. According to NBA.com’s shot chart, Plumlee has yet to make a shot outside the paint this season (0-for-6).

Three Nets earning their paychecks

February, 16, 2014
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The Brooklyn Nets are on pace to pay more than $180 million in player salaries and luxury-tax penalties. And while most of their highest-paid players have struggled, three of their cheaper guys have been more than worth it:

1. Shaun Livingston ($884,293): Livingston, 28, was signed to be Deron Williams' backup. Instead, he’s starting next to D-Will, doing a little bit of everything -- usually guarding the other team’s best wing player. The Nets are 3.8 points per 100 possessions better defensively with Livingston (7.7 PPG, 3.1 APG, 3.1 RPG) on the court. Not bad for a guy making the league minimum, huh?

2. Andray Blatche ($1,375,604): Blatche, 27, has been doing this in Brooklyn for two seasons now, so it comes as no surprise that he’s made this list. Nothing like a double-digit bench player at a bargain price. Of course, Blatche (11.6 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 19.84 PER) is also getting $7,489,357 this season from the Washington Wizards, who released him via the amnesty clause. Life is good for Dray Live.

3. Mirza Teletovic ($3,229,050): Teletovic, 28, has finally become the consistent floor-spacer the Nets hoped he’d be when they inked the Bosnian sharpshooter to a three-year contract for taxpayer mini-midlevel money in the summer of 2012. This season, Teletovic (8.7 PPG, 39.5 percent from 3-point range) has taken his opportunity and run with it.

Note: Brook Lopez ($14,693,906) would have made this list had he not been lost for the season due to a broken foot. Andrei Kirilenko ($3,183,000) would have made this list had he stayed relatively healthy up to this point (29 games missed). Alan Anderson ($947,907) deserves some recognition, as well.

Deron wills Nets to ugly win in Brooklyn

February, 3, 2014
Feb 3
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NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets were on the verge of embarrassing themselves and insulting their fan base -- until Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston stepped up to save the day.

The Nets nearly blew a 16-point, fourth-quarter lead, but their starting point guard duo made several key plays down the stretch, enabling Brooklyn to fend off the lowly Philadelphia 76ers 108-102 Monday night at Barclays Center.

The Nets (21-25) snapped a three-game losing streak.

[+] EnlargeDeron Williams
Emmanuel Dunand/Getty ImagesBrooklyn floor general Deron Williams willed the Nets to a skid-busting win over the Sixers.
"A win is a win, but you can’t be happy with the way we closed the game," Paul Pierce said. "We gave up layups, 3s. You know we were up by 19 and let them back in the game a couple of times. So if we play like that come Thursday [against the San Antonio Spurs], then we can’t expect to walk away with a win."

Williams, who had admittedly been struggling with his confidence of late, ignited a 7-0 run after the Sixers had closed within two with a tough fadeaway jumper and a beautiful feed inside to Mirza Teletovic for a 3-point play.

"Those were two big plays by Deron there," Nets coach Jason Kidd said.

But Philadelphia wouldn’t go away, once again reducing its deficit to just two, 104-102, with 22 seconds left.

Pierce, though, responded with a pair of free throws, and Livingston iced the game with his career-high seventh steal of the night, intercepting a bad pass by Michael Carter-Williams and also knocking down two ensuing freebies at the stripe to account for the final margin.

Williams, who missed nine of his first 10 shots and finished 3-for-12 from the field Saturday night in Indiana, finished with 21 points and six assists in 41 minutes, while Livingston flirted with a quadruple-double, filling up the stat sheet to the tune of 13 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and those 7 steals.

Pierce had a game-high 25 points, knocking down all 14 of his free throw attempts, Teletovic added 20 points (including five 3-pointers) and Kevin Garnett finished with 6 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 blocks, becoming just the 18th player in NBA history to record 2,000 career rejections.

"We got the win. That’s the biggest thing for the guys," Kidd said.

The Nets led by as many as 19. They should’ve coasted, but it seemed like they played down to their competition.

An 87-71 Brooklyn lead with 11:10 left quickly dwindled to 87-80 1:34 later. Philadelphia wouldn’t go away, and the Nets couldn’t put them away.

Still, as Kidd said, they won, matching their season high with 15 steals and coming up with timely plays while surviving despite not having the services of Joe Johnson (knee), Andrei Kirilenko (calf) and Andray Blatche (hip).

It was what it was. Nothing pretty. And there’s plenty of things they need to work on, but they’ll take it.

But, like Pierce said, if they play like this against the Spurs, they’re going to get beat.

Rapid Reaction: Nets 108, Sixers 102

February, 3, 2014
Feb 3
10:14
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NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets got back on the winning track, barely snapping a three-game losing streak with a 108-102 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night at Barclays Center.

What it means: The Nets (21-25) didn’t play their best basketball but did enough to beat the Sixers (15-34).

Deron Williams rebounded from a 3-for-12 shooting night to score 21 points and dish out six assists. With the Nets on the verge of blowing a 15-point fourth-quarter lead, Williams hit a fadeaway to make it 97-93, then fed Mirza Teletovic with a bounce pass for a crucial and-1 on the next possession, giving Brooklyn plenty of breathing room.

The Nets, who had to hold on despite leading 104-95 with 2:24 left, are now 19-1 when leading after 36 minutes.

Paul Pierce had 25 points and went 14-for-14 from the free throw line. Teletovic hit five 3-pointers and finished with 20 points off the bench.

Shaun Livingston filled up the stat sheet, recording 13 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and a career-high 7 steals. Livingston was coming off consecutive games in which he totaled 40 points -- including a season-high 24 Saturday night in Indiana against the Pacers.

Kevin Garnett (five blocks) became the 18th player in NBA history and second active player to record 2,000 career blocked shots.

The Nets recorded 15 steals Monday night and have recorded at least 13 steals in each of their past three games.

Back and forth: In the first half, it went from 19-4 Nets to 44-37 Sixers to 54-49 Nets. Brooklyn gained enough separation early in the third quarter, going on a 9-0 run after Michael Carter-Williams' 3-pointer brought Philadelphia within 54-52. The Nets would ultimately outscore the Sixers 30-20 in the third. Brooklyn led by as many as 19.

Injury update: Joe Johnson (right knee tendinitis), Andrei Kirilenko (sore right calf) and Andray Blatche (bruised left hip).

Who’s in the house: Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson, Jay Z, Beyonce, Michael J. Fox and Young Jeezy. Wilson, who sat courtside next to Mr. and Mrs. Carter, got a rousing ovation from the crowd when he was shown on the JumboTron. Wilson also received a nice hug from die-hard Seahawks fan Jason Terry.

Up next: The Nets don’t play again until Thursday night, when they face the San Antonio Spurs.

Starting Five: Teletovic's hot hand

January, 7, 2014
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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.

Teletovic replaces Livingston in lineup

December, 28, 2013
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Mirza Teletovic will replace Shaun Livingston in the Brooklyn Nets' starting lineup Saturday night against the Indiana Pacers.

Nets coach Jason Kidd told reporters that he wanted to go bigger against Indiana's front line of Danny Granger, David West, Roy Hibbert.

Teletovic has started three of the previous four games, and is averaging 15.5 points and shooting 43.8 percent from 3-point range.

Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will also start for the Nets.

• Asked about Andray Blatche missing four games for personal reasons, Kidd said, "It's just personal. It's a team issue, so no need to comment about it."

Asked if Blatche will be back after the team's three-game roadtrip, Kidd said, "We just said four games, and hopefully he's back by then," according to the New York Post.

Brook Lopez will have surgery Jan. 4 to repair the broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot, according to Lenn Robbins, the reporter for the team's official website. Lopez has already been ruled out for the season.

Andrei Kirilenko (back) will miss his 25th straight game. He did end up traveling with the team.

Notes: Teletovic's first NBA start a success

December, 17, 2013
12/17/13
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NEW YORK -- Mirza Teletovic's first NBA start couldn't have gone any better.

Teletovic finished with 11 points in 26 minutes in the Brooklyn Nets' 130-94 blowout victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night at Barclays Center.

Teletovic got elevated into the starting lineup because Brook Lopez (ankle) missed his second straight game.

He went 4-for-8 from the field -- 2-for-6 from 3-point range -- and grabbed five rebounds.

"He's done great," Nets coach Jason Kidd said of Teletovic, who was appearing in his 70th career NBA game. "He's played and when we've called his number, he's responded. I thought again, he rebounded the ball and also he gave us an offensive weapon being able to stretch the defense."

Added Teletovic: "The most important thing was we got a win. The most important thing was we brought a lot of energy and we had fun playing."

• Struggling? Having confidence problems? Need to find a rhythm? Host the Sixers, the perfect cure!

Paul Pierce seemed to find his shot, scoring 14 points on 3-for-5 shooting from long distance in 31 minutes off the bench. Pierce was not wearing a protect glove over his right hand for the first time since coming back from the injury.

Nets coach Jason Kidd asked Pierce around the five-minute mark of the fourth if he wanted to play the entire quarter. Pierce said yes.

"That was him being a professional, because he could easily ask out of the game, but he didn't," Kidd said. "He wanted to work on the offensive and the defensive end. He made some shots down in the end of that quarter."

• The Nets hit a franchise-record 21 3-pointers Monday night. Triple No. 21 came from the most unlikeliest of sources.

Shaun Livingston, who hadn't knocked down a 3 since Feb. 17, 2012, delivered the record-breaker late in the game.

Livingston has only hit 10 career 3-pointers in 414 games.

• The Nets have used 11 different starting fives this season. Eleven different Nets have already started a game this season. Last season, only 10 different Nets started the entire season.

• The Nets have won three straight games at Barclays Center and four of their last five overall.

• The 36-point margin of victory was the most lopsided margin of victory for either team in the history of the Nets-Sixers series (173 meetings). It was Brooklyn's most lopsided victory since Nov. 19, 2012, when it defeated the Orlando Magic 107-68.

Analysis: Life without Truth

December, 2, 2013
12/02/13
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Brooklyn Nets got off to a slow start with Paul Pierce.

But now, the Nets will find out how life is without "The Truth" for potentially as long as a month after Pierce fractured his right hand.

[+] EnlargePaul Pierce
Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY SportsHow much will the Nets miss injured forward Paul Pierce?
Let's take a look at what life without Pierce could be like for the next 2-4 weeks:

The schedule: The Nets say Pierce hurt his hand in the first half of the loss to the Houston Rockets on Nov. 29. If Pierce is out the minimum of two weeks, that means he will miss at least five games, including last Saturday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies, which Pierce sat out.

Next Thursday, the Nets play the Los Angeles Clippers and Pierce's old coach, Doc Rivers. That would be exactly two weeks from when Pierce broke his hand. Seems way too quick for the Nets forward to return. The Nets will likely take it slow with him and make sure their veteran is 100 percent when he returns.

So, if Pierce needs a month from when he broke his hand last Thursday, he could miss 12 games and potentially return against the Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 27. The Nets also play at the Indiana Pacers on Dec. 28. The Nets could keep him out for the entire month of December to be safe. They play 14 games in the month, nine of which are at home.

Unfortunately for Pierce, he will miss his first game as a Net against the Knicks. Remember, Pierce wants to convert as many Knicks fans as possible, and he's no fan of the team, considering his rivalry with the Knicks while a Boston Celtic and his back-and-forth this summer with J.R. Smith.

Pierce will also likely miss his first game against Boston next Tuesday at Barclays Center and a game against Doc next Thursday. Other notable games Pierce could miss are home games against Indiana (Dec. 23) and the Chicago Bulls (Christmas Day) and road games at Indiana (Dec. 28) and San Antonio (Dec. 31).

Replacing Pierce: Pierce has struggled this season, shooting only 36.8 percent overall and 26.8 percent from behind the 3-point arc, while averaging 12.4 points and 4.9 rebounds. Pierce rarely looked comfortable and was trying hard to find his way with the Nets. That process is now put on hold, and things might run a bit smoother for the team. Let's make it clear: I am not saying the Nets are better without Pierce. No way. But Pierce will even admit that he was trying to find his comfort level and that was a struggle.

The Nets have to find a way to replace Pierce's offense (he's a proven scorer who was a late-game option) and ability to get to the line when he's aggressive.

Alan Anderson will be the beneficiary of Pierce's absence. He will probably start, like he did against Memphis, and Jason Kidd likes his energy and hustle. The Nets are going to rely even more on Joe Johnson for offense, perimeter shooting and to carry the load with the second unit. Brook Lopez will remain a focal point.

Mirza Teletovic should continue to see steady playing time, and Tornike Shengelia might even see some more minutes than normal. The Nets could sure use Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry back, though. Kirilenko could ease the blow of Pierce's injury big time.

KG to lead more: Pierce might not have been playing up to the level he's accustomed to, but the Nets certainly have leadership and experience voids to fill now. You're taking out a 16-year veteran who has hit countless clutch shots and knows how to win big games.

Even though there's a minutes restriction for Kevin Garnett, Kidd could have to play his other former Celtic a bit more while Pierce is out. Garnett isn't an offensive force, but he anchors the team's defense and provides the Nets with invaluable experience on the court. Garnett is also not playing up to the level he's accustomed to, but he provides the team with a calming presence on the floor since he's a proven winner.

Garnett will miss his best friend on the court, but the Nets will need Garnett to step up, lead even more with Pierce out and be the glue more than ever for the team.

Tell us what you think the Nets have to do without Pierce for potentially the next month.

D-Will's minutes still restricted

November, 5, 2013
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams thinks he’s still on a minutes restriction, but isn’t entirely sure.

“I haven’t really talked to anybody about it,” Williams said.

Williams, still recovering from a sprained right ankle injury he suffered during an offseason workout in Utah, has played 27 minutes in the previous two games after playing 22 minutes in the regular-season opener.

"This is preseason, training camp (for him)," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "He didn't get to do a lot in the regular training camp or preseason, so we have to figure out how to get him (in there) without running him out there for 35 minutes and now he can't play the next night, so this is a process. I think, again, we had a process of bringing him back, it worked, and now we've got to do it during the regular season, so he's been good about that. And it's just gonna take some time. We haven't played him over 30-something minutes, but there will be a point in the season when he'll get there."

Williams, 29, is averaging just 8.0 points on 36 percent shooting in the early-going.

“Hopefully close,” Williams replied when asked how close he is to being the same player that was reverse-dunking in the playoffs last season.

“I just think it’s a matter of getting my legs under me. I haven’t done anything for six months. I’ve been pretty much just limited to jogging. That just happened a couple weeks ago. So I’m just trying to get there and get my confidence back in my legs and then I’ll be ready.”

The Nets host the winless Jazz (0-3) at Barclays Center Tuesday night. Williams has never beaten his former team (0-4).

“Hopefully we can get a win tonight,” Williams said, laughing. “That’s the goal.”

The Nets (1-2) need a win after losing by 21 in Orlando Sunday night.

“We gotta take care of this one tonight, and get back on the winning track, get back to .500 and that’s what’s on our minds,” Williams said. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, as a team we need to get back to playing Brooklyn basketball.

“I thought we got good looks last game, we just didn’t make them. I don’t think offense was our problem. I think it was defensively we didn’t do what we needed to do to get a win.”

The Nets went just 23-18 at Barclays Center last season. They want to improve that record this season.

“We definitely want to protect home court. That’s one of our goals,” Williams said.

" Big men Brook Lopez (sprained right ankle) and Andray Blatche (sprained left ankle) are expected to play.

“I think both will be fine,” Kidd said. “We’ll see how they feel this morning (after shootaround).

“I feel like right now if it was game-time I’d be able to go,” Lopez said.

" Forward Mirza Teletovic claimed his tweet in Croatian following Sunday night’s game, which translated to “I hate liars,” was not about venting over playing time.

“Nothing to do with basketball at all or the Nets,” Teletovic said. “I wrote it in my language because it was meant for somebody in my language. It has nothing to do with the Nets.”

Teletovic has played just seven minutes this season.

“You know, I think right now, if I'm correct we’ve only played [three] games and a lot of people haven't played,” Kidd said.

Blatche, Teletovic in Sunday scuffle

October, 13, 2013
10/13/13
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Blatche/TeletovicAP Photo/Getty ImagesAndray Blatche and Mirza Teletovic had to be separated at practice on Sunday.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets big men Andray Blatche and Mirza Teletovic got into a scuffle during Sunday's practice and had to be separated.

No punches were thrown, and the team quickly resumed drills.

"It's great. That's competition. That's what it's all about," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "This team is put together to compete at a high level, and you saw that. There's nothing wrong with competition. Tempers might flare, but it's all out of respect, because we're all working hard, and as a coaching staff and as players, that's what you need."

Said onlooker Deron Williams: "It's normal. It happens every year, 10 times a year, if that. It's definitely competitive, guys are bumping and banging down there. You're liable to have a couple of those."

Williams called it a "typical NBA fight."

The Nets are going to need more fight -- especially on defense. Veteran Paul Pierce said the team took "a step back" on D in Saturday night's 99-88 loss to the Detroit Pistons. Of significant concern: the fact that the Nets gave up 50 points in the paint.

"We looked at it and just understand that we have to protect the paint if we want to be one of the top 10 teams in the league in defense," Kidd said. "It's something that we're concerned about because it's been two games in a row, but this is preseason, so this is the time to work on it. Again, you can see that today at practice, we tried to keep the ball out of the paint."

The best news for the Nets and their defensive struggles? Lead assistant Lawrence Frank, who has been away from the team due to personal reasons, was back on the court. Frank's energy appeared to be infectious.

"His energy was definitely missed the last couple days," Williams said.

Teletovic's plans for year 2

October, 4, 2013
10/04/13
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NEW YORK -- Mirza Teletovic spoke candidly and honestly about his first season with the Brooklyn Nets.

In a nutshell: it wasn't an easy transition from Europe to Brooklyn.

[+] EnlargeTeletovic
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesMirza Teletovic hopes he spends more time on the court this year.
Asked what the toughest part was, Teletovic replied: "Sitting on the bench."

The 28-year-old stretch power forward did that a lot, appearing in just 53 games and averaging a mere 9.4 minutes per contest.

Sporadic playing time led to sporadic play. His defense also suffered. After all, how can you be in game shape when you're spending much more time on the bench than on the court?

"I could do a little bit more, for sure," he said.
"But you can't put me in the game for 10 minutes and tell me to make four shots. It's impossible."

Teletovic ended up averaging 3.5 points on 38.4 percent shooting -- 34.3 percent from 3-point range.

"I would put anybody in my situation and see what they can do," he said. "I think it would be almost the same result or even less. ... It's tough when you don't play."

This season, Teletovic would love to get consistent playing time, which, in-turn, he figures, would lead to more consistent results.

"If you don't get a chance, there is no point," Teletovic said.

But, with the Nets being so deep in the frontcourt, that's going to be tough.

Whatever. MT3 doesn't have any regrets after signing a three-year deal for nearly $10 million with Brooklyn last summer. He wants to make it work with the Nets.

"I've a lot of people ask me if I'm going to stay or not going to stay and things like that," he said.

"I'm going to say it again: My goal is to play on the Nets and that's been my goal from the beginning.

"And I decided [to come here] because I decided, not because of money or whatever. I decided to come and play here because this team has big potential. This team has great players."

During the summer, Teletovic averaged 24.3 points and 6.3 rebounds on 44.9 percent shooting in eight games -- 35.3 minutes per contest -- for his native Bosnia and Herzegovina at Eurobasket.

He certainly gained a lot of confidence as a result. He also said he's in better game shape.

The hope is it translates to the court -- if, of course, Teletovic earns his way onto it.

Nets power forward breakdown

September, 27, 2013
9/27/13
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Brooklyn Nets training camp begins on Oct. 1 at Duke University. Here's a position-by-position breakdown, continuing with power forward.

The starter: Kevin Garnett

Last season, the Nets played Kris Humphries, Reggie Evans and Mirza Teletovic at power forward.

Suffice to say the Big Ticket is a big upgrade.

Garnett, 37, brings defense, intensity and leadership to a franchise that was without an identity last season.

Good thing Paul Pierce and first-year coach Jason Kidd convinced him to waive his no-trade clause.

Garnett hates when he's asked how much he has left in the tank, but Kidd plans to monitor his minutes closely -- possibly giving him games off in back-to-back sets -- to keep him fresh come playoff-time.

With Garnett on the court last season, the Celtics were more than eight points per 100 possessions better defensively than with him off it.

Garnett, who has a tremendous mid-range game, should be a fine compliment to Brook Lopez in the frontcourt.

If you're wondering what type of decline KG is in, consider this: In his first five seasons in Boston, Garnett averaged 15.9 points and 8.4 rebounds in 31.2 minutes. In 2012-13, he averaged 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds in 29.7 minutes.

Garnett, like Pierce, is hungry for another championship before he rides off into the sunset, a Hall of Famer and one of the most intense competitors the game has ever seen.

The backup: Reggie Evans

The Joker rebounded at a better rate than anyone per 48 minutes last season.

Granted, that's pretty much all he can do.

Evans did have a lot of success finishing with his left-hand down low toward the end of the 2012-13 campaign, but he's always been more of a 10-15 minute reserve that brings energy and effort.

Given his limited ability in other facets of the game, it'll be interesting to see what Evans' role is on the team.

Either way, though, he brings a lot to the table, and can be a pest in the post come playoff time.

The third-stringer: Mirza Teletovic

Like many European players, Teletovic struggled with his transition to the NBA.

He's a skilled marksman from the perimeter, but struggled to fit in and make shots consistently.

Still, Teletovic can score points in bunches. He's another guy whose role is uncertain, but he could be valuable given how much skill the Nets have on offense.

Nets picked to make biggest turnaround

August, 27, 2012
8/27/12
12:18
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ESPN experts are projecting that the Nets will make the biggest turnaround this season.

Brooklyn received 35 votes to take the top spot, while Minnesota and Golden State each received 12.

Last season, the Nets went 22-44, good enough for 12th in the Eastern Conference.

They’re hoping improved health, along with the additions of Joe Johnson and Mirza Teletovic, among others, will change that.

Teletovic hopes Nets will 'do big things'

July, 12, 2012
7/12/12
2:54
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Mirza Teletovic said several NBA teams were interested in him.

Eventually, the 26-year-old Bosnian stretch forward narrowed the list down to two: the Nets and the Cavaliers.

So why did he choose Brooklyn?

“I will do anything to play for a good team,” Teletovic, who signed a three-year deal worth $9 million, said Thursday at a news conference. “I played for very good money in Europe too. But like my agent said, we want to come to a team that wants to do big things, and I think the Nets are ready to do that.”

Teletovic, who ended up taking less money to play in Brooklyn (he originally signed for $15.7 million, but took the mini mid-level exception instead so the Nets could chase Dwight Howard), added that what helped sell him on the Nets was the fact that Deron Williams elected to stay.

He has been playing power forward for the last few years in Europe, but said he can play both forward spots.

Teletovic said his best strengths on the court are his long-range shooting and his ability to run the floor. He added that he needs to get better defensively, and has recently improved as a rebounder.

“I will try to do it,” said Teletovic, adding that it takes a lot of “will” and “energy” to be a good defender. “I will practice all the time to get better.”

Teletovic doesn’t know if he’ll come in and start for the Nets right away.

“I will try to do my best in practices, and I think the coaches will decide,” he said, adding that he’s never met Avery Johnson or been to Brooklyn before.

Teletovic credits agent Misko Raznatovic for delivering on his promise to get him an NBA contract.

Raznatovic didn’t want Teletovic to enter the draft in prior years because he didn’t want him to get drafted “55, 40 or 38.”

So he played for more than a decade overseas before getting his break. Teletovic signed his first professional contract when he was 16. Raznatovic discovered Teletovic in Bosnia when he was 14.

“He’s done everything that he promised me,” Teletovic said.

Teletovic said it was time for him to play in the NBA because he’d basically won everything he could in Europe.

He grew up in a small city of about 5,000 people in Bosnia. At the age of 14, his parents sent him to the best high school in the country, where he became fluent in English.

“It’s impossible to play basketball if you don’t get good grades in English, so I tried to do my best,” Teletovic said.

When he was 17, Gonzaga and Connecticut approached Teletovic at the European Championships in Sweden about taking a college scholarship. But his agent thought it made more sense for him to play professionally in Belgium and be close to home.

“When you’re 16-17 years old, your parents are scared,” Teletovic said. “’The States are so far away. We’re never gonna see you. When are you gonna come back? Stay somewhere close.’ Belgium was a two-hour flight, very close.”

Teletovic said his wife and two children will be joining him in Brooklyn, which should help him with the transition.

Teletovic is captain of the Bosnian national team. His coach is Aleksandar Petrovic, brother of late Nets legend Drazen Petrovic.

“My father has all the tapes,” Teletovic said of Petrovic’s NBA games. “He’s seen everything. (Drazen’s) a legend. Everyone over in Bosnia has a lot of respect for him.”

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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

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