Bjelica posted 14 points (6-11 FG, 2-5 3Pt), four rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal across 26 minutes in Friday's 109-74 preseason loss to the Hornets.
Bjelica frequently vacillated in and out of the rotation last season under former coach Sam Mitchell, but new bench boss Tom Thibodeau seems to have developed a greater affinity for the Serbian sharpshooter. The 28-year-old gave the Wolves some much-needed range off the bench in his seven preseason outings, averaging 10.8 points, 4.2 boards, 1.8 assists, 1.7 treys and 1.1 steals in 23.5 minutes per game. He looks in line to open the regular season as Gorgui Dieng's top backup at power forward.
Bjelica has hled a prominent role off the bench in the preseason, averaging 23.2 minutes per game and shooting 42.9 percent from three-point range. It looks like he'll get significant minutes under new coach Tom Thibodeau and could be decent source of three-point shooting from the power forward spot.
Bjelica scored 12 points with five rebounds in 26 minutes in Saturday's preseason win over Miami.
Bjelica missed playing for Serbia in the 2016 Summer Olympics due to a leg injury, but it's hasn't been an issue so far in the preseason. He looks set to get significant playing time as one of the top big men off the bench under new head coach Tom Thibodeau.
Bjelica is nursing a leg injury and won't suit up for Serbia in the 2016 Summer Olympics, Yugobasket reports.
Bjelica will remain in the United States over the next several weeks to receive further treatment on the leg injury, but he should be at full health entering 2016-17. The 6-foot-10 forward's role with the Timberwolves fluctuated throughout his rookie season, and he finished with averages of 5.1 points (on 46.8% shooting), 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists across 17.9 minutes per game in his 60 appearances.
Once selected in the 2010 NBA Draft, Bjelica didn't immediately transition into the NBA. Instead, he elected to remain in Serbia where he concluded his Euroleague career as the 2015 MVP. The 27-year-old finally made his NBA debut this season, and introduced himself to the league by drilling multiple treys in five of his first nine appearances. However, a knee injury lead the rookie to miss time, and subsequently fall out of coach Sam Mitchell's rotation. Come April, Bjelica ended his season in the same fashion he started it; the Serbian rejoined the rotation and shot over 63 percent from beyond the arc while averaging 10.0 points per tilt. Though his role for the 2016 season largely depends on who the
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