Mirza Teletovic and Andray Blatche Are Perfect Match for Brooklyn Nets Bench Mob
Earlier this week, the Nets signed 6'9" power forward Andray Blatche to a one-year non guaranteed contract. Alongside the also 6'9" Mirza Teletovic, the two forwards should provide the Nets' bench with a versatile interior offense.
Each Player's Weakness is the Other's Strength
The 49th pick in the 2005 NBA draft, Blatche has proven to be a competent but ultimately one-dimensional offensive player.
Blatche's speciality is scoring under the basket. Long and athletic, Blatche has some explosiveness that translate to prolific scoring down low.
On the other hand, Blatche is a notoriously bad offensive player from anywhere beyond three feet of the rim (35 percent shooting, via www.hoopdata.com).
Fortunately for the Nets, all of Blatche's critical flaws are Mirza Teletovic's strengths. The 26-year-old Bosnian rookie has a litany of offensive weapons that he can employ from various areas of the floor.
Routine plays that Teletovic effectively ran while he played for the Euroleague include the pick and pop, turnaround jumpers in isolation plays and three-point shots from the corners and the wings.
If there is one potential weakness in Teletovic's game, that would be scoring in the low post at the NBA level. While a deft scorer, Teletovic's game is more finesse based than it is physical.
How The Nets May Play Blatche and Teletovic on the Floor Together
Expect Avery Johnson to play Teletovic and Blatche together when the Nets are looking to generate a lot of offense from its second unit.
In this scenario, Teletovic can play the high post where he can either take an isolation turnaround jumpshot, or dish the ball off to Blatche under the basket.
The Nets can also create a bigger lineup by substituting Teletovic for starting small forward Gerald Wallace (6'7"), keeping Blatche or starter Kris Humphries at power forward and employing the the 7'0" Brook Lopez at center.
Here the Nets can utilize Teletovic more as a three-point threat from the baseline, station Blatche around the rim once again and have Lopez sift from the high post to down low.
The Nets Frontcourt Still Has the Same Shortcomings
The additions of Andray Blatche, Mirza Teletovic and Reggie Evans at the power forward slot does not address the Nets' shortcomings on the defensive end of the floor.
All three role players are relatively weak man-on-man defenders and Teletovic's biggest red flag is that he may not be able to rebound productively at the NBA level.
Blatche and Evans are both woefully undersized to play the center position. This is a problem in the Atlantic Division, where either player will be required to defend the likes of Andrew Bynum or Tyson Chandler in certain situations.
However, the 26-year-old Blatche has great length, and could become an effective shot blocker if he develops the maturity to play consistently at the NBA level.
Blatche averaged 1.4 blocked shots per game during the 2008-2009 season, yet another indicator that if he puts his game together, he can be an invaluable addition to the Nets' lineup.
Overall, the Nets' frontcourt now has two low risk, high-reward players in Blatche and Teletovic.
If even one of the two has a breakout year in 2012-13, the Nets will be one step closer to being a dark horse threat to wrestle the Atlantic Division crown away from the presumptive favorite Boston Celtics.
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