Brooklyn Nets: Mirza Teletovic

Kirilenko: Starter or bench, I'm not worried

September, 16, 2014
Sep 16
4:10
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On Monday, Brooklyn Nets coach Lionel Hollins said Kevin Garnett will start at power forward this season. Factor in presumed starters Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, and there is one spot seemingly up for grabs.

If Hollins decides to go the traditional route, Andrei Kirilenko would be a candidate to start. Mirza Teletovic, Alan Anderson or Jarrett Jack are other options Hollins could pick from to join the starting five.

Kirilenko, who completed his 12th year in the NBA last season, has started 546 games during his career. But when he came to the Nets in 2013-14, Kirilenko didn’t care if he started or came off the bench. He just wanted to get consistent minutes.

And that stance hasn’t changed heading into the 2014-15 campaign. “If the coach wants me in the starting lineup, he’s going to put me in the starting lineup. If he wants me to come of the bench, I will come off the bench. I’ve never had a problem to be the guy who’s worried about the position. I’m more worried about the game time,” Kirilenko told reporters at D-Will’s Celebrity Dodge Barrage charity event in Manhattan.

“If you’re playing 25-30 minutes a game, it doesn’t matter where you’re coming from: the bench or the the starting lineup, that’s the only concern I have.”

Kirilenko’s minutes fluctuated frequently under former coach Jason Kidd. In the playoffs, they looked like this: 0, 20, 17, 15, 4, 14, 3, 13, 0, 19, 15, 26.

[+] EnlargeAndrei Kirilenko
Nathaniel S. ButlerGetty ImagesAndrei Kirilenko, a 12-year veteran, has started 546 games in his career.
For his career, Kirilenko has averaged 30.2 minutes per game. In Brooklyn, he averaged 19 minutes during the regular season.

When asked if he believes he’ll have a better, more solid understanding of his role under Hollins, Kirilenko responded, “I’m 100 percent sure it’s gonna be different.”

Most professional athletes like consistency. They like to know their role. It makes perfect sense.

Kirilenko was supposed to have a huge impact last season. He did sporadically. But persistent back injuries caused him to miss 37 games.

Asked how he feels, Kirilenko responded, “pretty good,” adding that he has been working out with his teammates and coaches at the team’s practice facility in East Rutherford, N.J.

Kirilenko likes that Hollins’ teams in Memphis always played “structured basketball,” and believes the coach will bring that structure to Brooklyn.

Throughout his career, Kirilenko has been known for his versatility and unique ability to guard multiple positions. He plays with energy and enthusiasm.

Hollins, a defensive-minded coach, will probably enjoy having Kirilenko on his roster -- assuming the 33-year-old can stay healthy, of course.

Burning Q's: Who's the most vital sub?

September, 15, 2014
Sep 15
12:33
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Jaret JackDon Emmert/AFP/Getty ImagesCan Jarrett Jack forget his Cavs days and recapture the game he displayed at Golden State?
With training camp a few weeks away, we’re examining the burning questions facing the Brooklyn Nets.

Today’s question: Who is the Nets’ most important bench player?

In his first season as a Net, Jarrett Jack will be the most important sub for Lionel Hollins.

The Nets are hoping Jack can be the super-sub that he was for the Golden State Warriors. Jack averaged 12.9 points and 5.6 assists while hitting 45.2 percent of his shots just two seasons ago, and he hit big shots in the postseason for Golden State.

SportsNation

Who will be the Nets' most important bench player?

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Last season, Jack’s averages dipped to 9.5 points, 4.1 assists and 41 percent shooting for the Cavaliers. Jack is eager to show that his down season was more a product of his role and the offensive system in Cleveland.

With the Nets, Jack could be Hollins’ sixth man. He can spell Deron Williams at point guard and run the second unit. He also could potentially play alongside Williams.

In many ways, Jack will have to replace Shaun Livingston, who signed with Golden State in July; he could play multiple positions and often played alongside Williams.

The Nets have plenty of key contributors coming off the bench this season. Mason Plumlee is looking to continue his rise after helping Team USA win gold at the World Cup. With Brook Lopez coming off surgery and Kevin Garnett likely playing on minutes restriction this season, Plumlee will be a key big for the Nets and should see more minutes than his rookie season.

Andrei Kirilenko will be needed to provide energy, defense and his unique hustle plays. Mirza Teletovic will be looking to show that last season’s breakout year was no fluke and that he will continue to provide dead-eye shooting. And Alan Anderson should play a key role as Hollins’ best defender off the bench.

The Nets also hope to develop youngsters like Bojan Bogdanovic, Sergey Karasev and Markel Brown.

But Jack will be needed to provide a bit of everything. He has to give the team a boost off the bench, be able to heat up and hit some big shots, spell Williams, be ready to play both guard positions, and give the team an edge and provide some leadership with the second unit.

With Williams coming off surgeries on his ankles, Jack could see a bigger role early in the season and provide the Nets with a potential starter if Williams needs a night to rest his ankles. If Jack plays the way he did two seasons ago for the Warriors, the Nets will be thrilled with their offseason acquisition.

Question: Who do you think is the Nets' most important bench player?

Position analysis: Power Forward

August, 4, 2014
Aug 4
11:23
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Kevin Garnett, Mirza TeletovicDavid Sherman/NBAE/Getty ImagesKevin Garnett and Mirza Teletovic are likely candidates for starting power forward.
Now that free agency has died down, we’re taking a look at where the Nets currently stand position-by-position. Today, we look at power forward.

POWER FORWARD

New additions: PF Cory Jefferson

Returning/on roster: PF/C Kevin Garnett, SF/PF Mirza Teletovic, PF/C Mason Plumlee, SF/PF Andrei Kirilenko

Gone: PF/C Andray Blatche (remains unsigned)

The starter: The Nets could go a number of different ways here. If we had to venture a guess, it’s Teletovic or Garnett. But there are so many factors in play.

The wild card: Plumlee. He could start, too. It sounds as though Plumlee has the inside track on making Team USA for the FIBA World Cup in Spain. He had a terrific first season in the NBA, and the hope is he only gets better next season. Plumlee is an athletic big man who does much of his scoring around the basket -- mostly via dunks. He obviously needs to improve his defense and his jump shot. But the Nets really like him. He’s a great guy, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he emerged as the starter.

Outlook: All indications are -- both publicly and privately -- that Garnett is going to return for his 20th season. But how much will he be able to play? That’s where a young player like Plumlee enters the equation. Teletovic made huge strides in his second NBA season, and he might work well in tandem with Kirilenko. Kirilenko can play multiple positions, so he could probably play some four if coach Lionel Hollins decides to go small or with an unorthodox type of lineup. Jefferson, Mr. Irrelevant, had a nice Summer League, though his contract is only partially guaranteed, so he might have to prove himself in training camp in order to make the team. A big issue for this group, and we’ll touch on this in more depth down the road, is who is going to rebound? The Nets struggled mightily in that category last season, and didn’t add any real rebounding in the offseason. They have to hope that they can rebound as a team, and that some of their players make strides as far as board-snagging is concerned.

Position analysis: Small Forward

August, 1, 2014
Aug 1
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Andrei KirilenkoAP Photo/Frank Franklin IIAndrei Kirilenko can defend multiple positions and facilitate the offense as a passer.
Now that free agency has died down, we’re taking a look at where the Nets currently stand position-by-position. Today, we look at shooting guard.

SMALL FORWARD

New additions: SF Bojan Bogdanovic

Returning/on roster: SF/PF Andrei Kirilenko, SF/PF Mirza Teletovic, SG/SF Joe Johnson, SG/SF Alan Anderson, SG/SF Sergey Karasev

Gone: SF/PF Paul Pierce

The starter: Kirilenko or Teletovic. That is unless, as we noted in our shooting guard analysis, Deron Williams and Jarrett Jack start in the backcourt, in which case Johnson would move to the three spot.

The wild card: Bogdanovic. The Nets are extremely high on the 25-year-old rookie, whom they signed to a three-year, $10 million contract in the offseason. They acquired his rights in a draft night deal in 2011. He’s a 6-8 Croatian sharpshooter with a lot of potential. The way Brooklyn’s roster is constructed, it would appear that Bogdanovic is going to get a shot to contribute immediately. He said earlier this week numerous times that he feels he can do that.

Outlook: It feels like there is a lot of versatility at this position, a lot of guys who can do different things. Kirilenko can defend multiple positions and facilitate the offense as a passer. Teletovic, who could conceivably start at power forward, is a floor spacer, as is Bogdanovic. You know what you’re going to get from Johnson, who was dynamite in the playoffs last season. Anderson is a “D and 3” type player who is tough as nails. And Karasev has a lot of potential. The Nets viewed Pierce as a power forward at this juncture of his career, but he did play some small forward. Last season, Johnson moved to the three after Brook Lopez suffered a season-ending injury and Shaun Livingston was inserted into the starting lineup. Johnson was extremely potent out of the low post, both as a scorer and facilitator. When it comes to this position on the floor, Bogdanovic’s development is really going to be key. Perhaps -- and we emphasis perhaps -- he could even be the starter by season’s end.

Pierce's exit means opportunity for some

July, 16, 2014
Jul 16
12:24
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Paul Pierce’s departure means opportunity for other players on the Brooklyn Nets next season. Let’s take a look at five Nets who could have a greater impact in 2014-15.

Plumlee
Plumlee
Mason Plumlee: Plumlee continued where he left off last season during Summer League, showing his explosiveness and athleticism. The hope is that Plumlee will take another positive step forward, improving his rebounding and defense. Perhaps he'll be able to add the threat of a jump shot to his offensive arsenal, which mostly included efficient scoring in the paint -- mostly via dunks. With Brook Lopez coming off foot and ankle surgery and Kevin Garnett likely playing in his 20th NBA season, Plumlee should get plenty of minutes. Maybe he’ll even start.

Mirza Teletovic: Teletovic made quite the jump in his second year in the NBA. He didn’t play much early on, but got his opportunity as a result of injuries to some of his teammates. He took full advantage, shooting with confidence and displaying a swagger on the floor. Teletovic figures to be a nice asset for Hollins to have at his disposal.

Kirilenko
Kirilenko
Andrei Kirilenko: Kirilenko’s first season with the Nets was derailed by injuries in 2013-14. His playing time was inconsistent. But if he’s healthy, Kirilenko seems like a Lionel Hollins kind of player. He’s very versatile and capable of playing and guarding multiple positions. Kirilenko is an excellent facilitator and seems to always get his hands on the ball. He likes to wreak havoc on the court. You’d think he’ll have a more expansive role in 2014-15.

Bojan Bogdanovic: The key here is patience. Expectations should be tempered. The 25-year-old will likely need an adjustment period as he transitions from the European game to the NBA. If he does, he’ll be another floor-spacing threat. As Cotton Fitzsimmons told Hollins, “You can never have too many shooters.”

Alan Anderson: Anderson should provide solid depth and toughness, along with D-and-3 ability. He’s another Hollins-type player. It will be interesting to see where Anderson figures into the rotation, given that Hollins has so many options. Still, Anderson is a veteran, so you have to figure Hollins will utilize him in different situations.

Reaction: Pierce heads to Washington

July, 13, 2014
Jul 13
1:52
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After going through a messy divorce with Jason Kidd, the Brooklyn Nets are now saying goodbye to Paul Pierce.

After just one season with the Nets, Pierce is joining the Washington Wizards, signing a two-year, $11 million deal as first reported by ESPN’s Marc Stein.

What does this mean for the Nets? Let’s take a look:

One and done: This was supposed to be at least a two-year window. Or so we thought. The Nets surrendered three first-round picks in a blockbuster trade for Pierce and Kevin Garnett last summer with hopes of winning a championship.

Jason Kidd helped convince Garnett to waive his no-trade clause and sold the two Boston vets on Brooklyn being a title contender with them. But their one-year together was a bag of mixed results.

The Nets got off to a rocky 10-21 start before turning things around and finishing 44-38. They needed seven games, and a Pierce series-clinching block to get past Toronto in the first round before losing to Miami in the second round in five games.

Kidd then left for Milwaukee after asking for and failing to receive control over basketball decisions. Now Pierce is gone to Washington, becoming just a one-year rental basically. The Nets also lost Shaun Livingston in free agency after the point guard signed with Golden State.

Moving on: Going into free agency, all indications were that the Nets wanted to keep Pierce but at perhaps $6-to-$8 million per season for a short-term deal. But league sources say the Nets ultimately decided to go in a different direction and passed on matching Washington’s offer. The Nets also passed on any sign-and-trade possibilities to get something in return for Pierce.

The team’s thinking is that it would like to develop younger talent at forward now after recently acquiring 20-year-old Russian forward Sergey Karasev in the Jarrett Jack deal. The Nets also are expected to sign prospect Bojan Bogdanovic, whom the Nets acquired in a draft night deal in 2011, for their mini-midlevel exception sometime this week according to sources.

Pierce’s departure also could mean more minutes for Mirza Teletovic, who had a breakout season.

Bottom line, the Nets are now banking on the core of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez to step up and lead. Remember, Williams and Lopez are both making their way back from surgeries.

Big Ticket: What does this mean for KG? We will soon find out. The Nets still expect Garnett to return this season for the final year of his contract worth $12 million.

But Garnett could return and be unhappy. He clearly did not envision playing for the Nets without Pierce and Kidd when he waived his no-trade clause last summer. Garnett may be in the twilight of his career and maybe a 20-minute-a-night player who plays 50-60 games and sits on back-to-backs at this point. But he’s still an asset as far as being a positive influence on younger teammates and a mentor to the likes of Lopez and Mason Plumlee.

If Garnett returns and doesn’t like the situation, both sides could opt to try and seek a trade later in the season. We will have to wait and see if Garnett does return and how happy he will be now that his best friend Pierce is gone.

The Truth: Pierce averaged 13.5 points and 4.6 rebounds in 75 games for the Nets. He broke a bone in his hand early in the season but played a pivotal role in helping the Nets make their turnaround from that disastrous start by playing at power forward after Lopez was lost for the season.

He became a leader on the team in a short period of time and this was evident in big games against big opponents. Nets like Williams deferred to Pierce, who hit some big shots against Toronto and Miami in the playoffs. He didn't always have it, averaging just 13.7 points in the playoffs. But his experience and playmaking abilities had to always be accounted for.

His defining moment as a Net likely will be his series-winning block at the end of Game 7 to send the Nets into the second round.

Nets nail 3s to clinch Game 3 win

May, 11, 2014
May 11
1:05
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NEW YORK -- The Nets' formula for success on Saturday was pretty simple: play good D and hit 3s.

They executed that plan to perfection, knocking down a franchise playoff record 15 triples in a 104-90 Game 3 win.

The Nets also limited Miami to 32.3 percent shooting in the second and third quarters, a decisive stretch in which Brooklyn outscored the defending champs by 15 points.

It all added up to a momentum-shifting victory in this second-round series.

"We were down 2-0, we didn’t panic," Paul Pierce said. "We knew we didn’t do a few things right in the first two games. So we said, 'No need to panic, we’re going to get the stuff right.' We need to get right, come back home and execute it."

Mission accomplished.

It started behind the arc on Saturday.

Brooklyn drilled nine of 14 threes in the decisive second half. They hit 15 of 25 overall. Those are video-game numbers.

"The 3-point line is the huge equalizer for both teams, and they won it tonight," LeBron James said.

Most Nets credited strong ball movement around the perimeter and constant guard penetration at the rim for creating opening looks.

Mirza Teletovic seemed to benefit the most.

He knocked down four of six from beyond the arc in the second half. Joe Johnson led the Nets with five 3s on seven attempts. Brooklyn hit just 32 percent of its 3s in the first nine playoff games.

"It’s a momentum boost for us," Johnson said. "Obviously the basket seems as though it’s a little bigger."

Teletovic provided plenty of momentum in the third quarter.

One one end of the floor, he hit three of five 3s to help the Nets build a 14-point lead.

On the other end, Teletovic bothered James enough to force the best player on the planet to miss four of five shots.

"You have to have someone the same size defending him," the 6-foot-9, 242-pound Teletovic said."And I think I can do a pretty good job."

Rapid Reaction: Nets 116, Pistons 104

April, 4, 2014
Apr 4
9:57
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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
1:04
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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
Feb 16
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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
11:55
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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
Jan 7
6:00
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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
12/28/13
6:22
PM ET
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
12:06
AM ET
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.

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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