Mirza Teletovic is used to being a leading man on the basketball court, something he has been for his entire career before coming to the NBA — as the star of the Bosnian national team and throughout a prolific career in Europe.
So it should be expected the adjustment from being a player who averaged more than 30 minutes a game in Euroleague play each of the past three years — and who scored over 20 points a game in that competition last year — to being a bit player in a new country and on a new team has been trying at times.
“I just have to find the fun in basketball again,” Teletovic said recently. “Not think about it too much, and just have fun.”
For a shooter like Teletovic, thinking too much is dangerous. The best shooters turn their jump shots into a mechanical process, something they do without a thought going through their minds. That is why they spend countless hours putting up one shot after another in an attempt to perfect their shooting strokes, in order to take as much thought out of the process as possible.
“Sometimes I just start thinking too much,” Teletovic said. “I think about the mistakes I make, because I’m not a young guy and I’ve played a long time and I know basketball, so you start thinking about mistakes.”
But thinking about things can be hard for a player like Teletovic to avoid, particularly when he is spending large portions of most games on the bench, only to come in for a few minutes and be expected to start hitting shots.
That’s the situation Teletovic has found himself in several times recently, as Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo has put him in the game in the fourth quarter after sitting him for the first three. That happened in Tuesday’s win in New Orleans, when Carlesimo inserted Teletovic into the game for a couple minutes midway through the fourth quarter.
Euro sharpshooter adjusts to NBA
New York Post | Feb 28