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Film Study: Where did Mirza Teletovic's shooting stroke go?

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Mirza Teletovic didn't get the nickname MT3 without reason.  The man has a sweet shooting stroke that any fellow sharpshooter would respect and those lacking would envy.  However, this season something seems to be amiss as he's shooting 39.4% from the field including a mere 31.5% from deep.

So what happened?

Teletovic started the season making threes at a not-so-great 33% rate but his 43.7% field goal percentage was not-so-bad for a shooter.  Where Teletovic disappointed beyond the arc, he improved and expanded his game within the paint.  He effectively cut to the basket for easy layups and was able to create his own shot by driving to the basket and finishing at the rim.  Not known for being a post threat despite being a power forward, Teletovic is developing a somewhat unconventional, but effective post-up game.

The Bosnian had his best game of the season against the San Antonio Spurs on December 3rd.  He scored 26 points on 9-13 shooting from the field including 5-of-7 from three point land.  He also added 15 rebounds for good measure.  After receiving a pass from Jarrett Jack, Teletovic is able to create his own shot by driving the wing and to the basket:

Teletovic also boasted his basketball IQ by cutting to the basket and receiving passes from his teammates for a easy buckets.  Here, he cuts into the paint and drains a floater against the Orlando Magic:

As mentioned before, he's continuing to develop a post-up game and even though it isn't the prettiest or fundamentally-sound, it's effective.  He showed it off during the first game of the season against the Boston Celtics:

Then he got hurt.  In a loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 8th, he suffered a hip pointer injury early in the game and to add insult to injury, he was elbowed in the face and required four stitches.  Though his face healed quickly, Teletovic missed three games because of his barking hip.

Since the injury and his brief absence, Teletovic hasn't been the same player.  Though his three-point game wasn't overly-impressive to start the season, his percentage dropped significantly to 26.5% and his field goal percentage dropped over ten percentage points from 43.7% to 33% in 12 games since returning.  It's not like he's failing to be aggressive (he's averaging 8.5 shots per game since returning), his shots simply aren't going through the basket.

Is there something physically wrong with Teletovic that has caused this decrease in production?  Your guess is as good as ours.  However, his numbers have declined substantially since the injury and while it's not wise to assume, it's also not unreasonable to hypothesize that his hip might have something to do with it.