May 10, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Mirza Teletovic (33) advances the ball during the third quarter against the Miami Heat in game three of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center. Brooklyn Nets won 104-90. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Eurobasket 2015 qualifiers: Mirza Teletovic joins BiH, wows with 25 points

The FIBA World Cup is still a couple of weeks away from tipoff, though some 26 national teams are already in action in FIBA Europe’s Eurobasket 2015 qualifiers. Not only will the competition determine which teams will qualify for The Continent’s marquee basketball event, the qualify rounds provide a stage for a handful of NBA players to suit up along with their countrymen from Euroleague, Eurocup and/or domestic ball – and last night saw no bigger star than the Brooklyn Nets’ Mirza Teletovic for Bosnia & Herzegovina. Reportedly joining Team BiH just days before, Teletovic got with his side to lead an 83-70 win over hosts Great Britain to start their second round. The Net’s contributions ultimately included 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting, six rebounds and three steals on the stat sheet, though numbers could hardly capture the dramatic addition to BiH’s arsenal going forward. Teletovic showed a surprisingly slick and polished skill set of everything observers have come to expect from the classic European product: With BiH for the purposes of the qualifying tournament, team captain Teletovic flipped the switch to “all-purpose.” Team Britain was simply unprepared for a guy capable of both going 3-of-5 from three-point range and absorbing enough punishment underneath to draw a crippling seven fouls. Here’s to hoping Brooklyn fans noticed what Britain could not have missed, because on display was the all-rounder Nets management anticipated when signing him away from Caja Laboral in 2012. Teletovic’s unique abilities, i.e. serving as a big-bodied power forward unafraid (and reasonably accurate) from behind the arc, reemerged for Brooklyn last season thanks in part to a doubling in court time to 19.4 minutes per game. His upping to 4.8 three-point attempts per was a definite bright spot for the Nets in 2013-14 and his performance against the Miami Heat in games two and three of their playoff series showed the sort of matchup problems having Teletovic on the floor can produce. Going into next season, Teletovic may technically be situated behind Kevin Garnett in the PF spot, but the Bosnian should certainly see a further uptick in court time with the 38-year-old certain to be deemphasized in an offense looking to turn games into shootouts – European basketball fans are certainly anticipating an attack which features both Teletovic and Croatia’s Bogdan Bodganovic. Meanwhile, Team BiH looks forward to Sunday, when they’ll be hosting Iceland, FIBA’s 75th ranked national team. Thanks to the latter’s surprising win over Britain in those teams’ first meeting in the second qualifying round, Teletovic’s team can already pencil themselves in for Eurobasket 2015; the captain will likely return for the big tourney – presumably after a breakout NBA season.

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Tags: Bosnia & Herzegovina Brooklyn Nets Eurobasket 2015 Mirza Teletovic

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