BOSTON -- Bojan Bogdanovic had to feel somewhat better when he swished an early three-pointer against the Celtics in the Nets' preseason finale Monday night, given the number of clanks he has heard this preseason. He led the Nets in scoring with 18 points, shooting 6-for-13, in their 111-105 loss at TD Garden.
The Nets are banking on Bogdanovic to have a big season, something general manager Billy King and owner Mikhail Prokhorov have mentioned. However, the 26-year-old swingman has not looked good in limited preseason action and could find himself coming off the bench instead of starting.
Bogdanovic has battled through a sprained right ankle, connecting on 5 of 20 attempts overall and 2 of 11 three-point tries in three preseason appearances before Monday night. That's not going to cut it for a guy who is supposed to be one of the team's best outside shooters.
"I had that small injury on my ankle, but I know that I am not playing like I used to play and like I have to play," Bogdanovic said. "So I have to keep working and try to play much better."
If ever there's someone in need of a break just to get his legs back and his body refreshed, it's Bogdanovic. He's logged more than his share of minutes during the past year, piggybacking his first season in the NBA by competing in EuroBasket.
Bogdanovic also suffered a concussion, and with the tournament taking place in September, it didn't give him much recovery time before rejoining the Nets.
"Right now, you can tell that he is a little bit banged up," Thaddeus Young said. "I think if you look at it, he's played a whole year of basketball and hasn't really had a break. Hopefully, we can get him some rest and get him back ready to go. But right now, I think he's just a little tired. That's all. I think he's only had like 13 days off over the whole summer."
Perhaps Bogdanovic will get some time off now that there's nothing left other than practice before the Nets host the Bulls in the Oct. 28 opener. The Nets surely hope he snaps out of his funk and returns to the form he had after last season's All-Star break. They are going to need him at his best in order to hang with some of the league's higher-scoring teams.
"I hope that my ankle is going to be much better and that we are going to improve as a team," Bogdanovic said. "We have seven or eight days off to relax, and also to practice hard, to get into the best shape for the beginning of the season."