Lost in the excitement of Thursday’s press conference were a couple of comments from Brooklyn Nets head coach on forward Mirza Teletovic, who appears to be the forgotten man in Brooklyn. Here is what Kidd had to say:
“Mirza will be an important part of this team. He’s the guy who can contribute to the defense and has a good shot. These players that we’re introducing today are very important. However, also very important are those players who have a specific role.”
Last season, Teletovic received very little playing time under Avery Johnson, and only a little bit more under P.J. Carlesimo after Brooklyn’s front office requested it. When he was on the court, Teletovic did not seem ready for the NBA, making many easy-to-fix mistakes and not making as many open shots as Nets fans expected.
And now, Brooklyn’s front court has gotten much more deep and crowded, with Paul Pierce, Andrei Kirilenko, Kevin Garnett, Reggie Evans, Brook Lopez, and Andray Blatche all expected to receive playing time over Teletovic.
So what should Teletovic’s role on this team be? He will be competing with Mason Plumlee for the possible 11th man role. Typically, teams don’t have 11 players in the rotation, but if there is an injury on the team, and there likely will be at some point, Teletovic will be expected to fill in and play.
Mirza’s job is to be ready whenever he is called upon and he does not know when that will be. He will be 28 years old when next season starts and already has a full year of NBA experience. He should be able to have a role on this team if needed.