Brooklyn got a big boost off the bench from Mirza Teletovic, who scored 24 of his career-high 34 points in a wild second quarter, in which he scored 19 points on 7-of-7 shooting in his first six minutes of play.
Teletovic hadn't scored more than 19 points in a game in his NBA career before Friday night, but the Bosnia and Herzegovina native was not going to be denied.
After a rough rookie season that saw him unable to earn his coaches' trust, Mirza has been a pleasant surprise this season, and he's rewarded Jason Kidd's faith in him.
Teletovic spoke after the game about how he's gotten more confident, and how he's gotten the NBA game to slow down for him since the start of the season to now.
[sny-box]"It's just [about] getting more time. Coach trusts me more, [he's] talking to me, explaining me stuff, giving me confidence. [It's about getting] more confidence. When I get more confidence it helps a lot."[/sny-box]
After initially getting a chance to play due to early-season injuries to other players, Teletovic has now become a fixture in the Nets' rotation thanks to some impressive all-around play. Not just a spot-up three-point shooter, he's shown that he can create his own shot as well. He's played respectable defense, and he's played with good energy, effort, and intensity, especially with his rebounding.
As he's gotten more confident, his shooting has improved. He shot just 37.3% from the field and 38.2% from deep in 11 November games. In 13 December games, those numbers went up to 45.4% and 42.6%, respectively. So far in 10 January games, Teletovic is shooting a terrific 50.6% from the field and 47.5% from behind the arc.
Here are Mirza's shot charts by month, which you can view at full-size with a click.
There's no doubt in my mind that Mirza is a legitimate NBA contributor. He's been steadily improving as the season's gone on. It's been fun to watch. Jason Kidd has given him the chance to play serious minutes, and Mirza has seized the opportunity.