|Photo Credit: Geoff Burke- USA Today Sports|
Earlier in the season, Mirza found himself without a role on this team, just like he did last season. It was up to him to prove to head coach Jason Kidd that he can play well while holding a consistent role. This season, Teletovic averages 13.1 points and 5.8 rebounds in games that he plays at least 20 minutes.
Since Lopez went down with his injury, Teletovic has been one of the few guys on the court who have really stepped their game up to another level. In his five starts this season, Mirza is averaging 14.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and is shooting 49.1% from the field including 37.8% from the three point line. We're seeing a whole new Mirza this season. The Mirza that was witnessed playing ugly basketball in his rookie season is now one of the Nets' few bright spots.
We are all witnessing what I have labeled the "Mirza effect". To those who don't understand what it means when I say it, I will explain it: The "Mirza effect" is quite self-explanatory, actually. It's simply the effect Mirza Teletovic has on the Nets. When he is on the court, he spreads the floor tremendously, giving guys the ability to drive to the basket while the opposing power forward is on the three point line defending Teletovic.
Now not only does he spread the floor for his teammates, the "Mirza effect" also includes his ability to pass the basketball to open teammates. He isn't the type of player that stays in one spot waiting for the ball to be given to him. He moves around a lot, and when he gets the ball on the move, Teletovic has incredible court awareness if he doesn't have a shot good enough to take. We have seen Televtovic, on multiple occasions, drive to the basket only to dish the ball to a teammate (mostly Joe Johnson) who is wide open behind the three point line.
Mirza is an extremely underrated player around the league, and is even underrated by Nets fans. His passing and defense have taken tremendous strides since last season, and they have helped him earn what now looks to be a permanent spot in the Nets' rotation, at least for this season.
Mirza Teletovic's New Year's Resolution:
Alright, this resolution is simple. All Mirza needs to do in 2014 is make sure he continues doing what he has been doing since making it into the Nets' rotation. If he continues playing hard every night and making shots, he'll have no problem making sure he's on the court for the long-run. So in short, his resolution is to not lose his spot in the rotation.
The Mirza effect is real.
OTHER NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONSKevin Garnett, Andray Blatche, Alan Anderson, Shaun Livingston, Tornike Shengelia, Jason Terry, Mason Plumlee, Reggie Evans, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Tyshawn Taylor, Deron Williams