In an unexpected turn of events, Mirza Teletovic was cleared to return to basketball activities after being declared out for the season on January 22, when blood clots were found in both lungs when boarding the team plane, a potentially life-threatening condition. After a much shorter than expected return to activity, Teletovic is listed as probable for game two of the series between the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks.
The season was deemed over for Teletovic, the 6’9″ Bosnian power forward, when blood clots were found in his lungs in late January. The condition was set to sideline him for months, with the hopes he would return to action in time for the 2015-2016 NBA season.
Instead, he was unexpectedly cleared by team doctors to resume full basketball activity. Just two practices later, Teletovic may be set to suit up in the Nets first round series as early as game two.
Will Teletovic really make an appearance on the court after being side-lined for three months with such a dangerous condition? Is he ready to come back and contribute for the Nets? Teletovic himself told Northjersey.com:
I mean, people think that I’ve been sitting the last three months. I didn’t really. Like after the first three weeks I was out I started working out and I’m in pretty good shape for now.
If Teletovic is indeed up to speed to play in an NBA game, he could see some significant time in the Nets rotation. The sharp shooter could knock down some threes and maybe play a little defense for the Nets, who could use help in both areas.
Teletovic’s role won’t be huge, and he won’t shift any balance in the series, but another bench player is always a valuable asset. A career 36% three-point shooter, Teletovic can help a Brooklyn squad that went 25% from deep in game one, missing fifteen of twenty attempts.
The Nets totaled 26 bench points in their opening loss to the Hawks, but half of these points came from point guard Jarrett Jack. Aside from Jack, Bojan Bogdanovic, Alan Anderson and Earl Clark combined to connect on only five of seventeen shot attempts. Teletovic would provide another solid bench option for the Nets to employ throughout the series.
Losing 99-92 to the Hawks to start the series, there is some hope for the Nets postseason advancement. A strong fourth quarter push by Brooklyn was just a couple big shots away from an improbable win. With Teletovic on board for the rest of the series, the Nets become deeper and just a little better.
Mirza Teletovic certainly won’t win the series for the Nets, but his unlikely return definitely bolsters their chances on the court.