Bojan Bogdanovic's routine starts about 90 minutes before the opening tip with a small group of onlookers watching. Assistant coach John Welch feeds pass after pass from near the foul line to the corner beyond the 3-point line near the Nets bench.
General manager Billy King and others watched Sunday as Bogdanovic took shot after shot in his continuing adjustment to the American version of the game.And when Sunday's pregame routine ended, Welch said, "Great job Bogie."
It turns out Welch was foreshadowing the rookie's best performance of a very young NBA career. Bogdanovic finished with 22 points in a 104-96 win over the Magic.
"Most of these guys coming into the NBA, there's a lot more sets, there's a lot more screening, there's a lot cutting and things that you don't necessarily see in the college game or even overseas [where] there's a lot of motion," head coach Lionel Hollins said before the game. "In the pro game, there's a lot of screening. There's a lot of getting people open because you have 24 seconds and you're trying to get the ball to the people that you want to score and [in] very good position. So it's about strength, it's about matchups. All of that stuff it comes with trying to make the adjustment of the NBA game and I think he's done a nice job so far."
Nice job would be an understatement for the 25-year-old as the good moments were in abundance during his sixth NBA game.
He was making better reads on both ends of the court, getting in better position for opportunities and the results of the improvement were showcased during the third quarter of a somewhat stagnant game for the Nets.
Within seconds of returning from a six-minute rest, Bogdanovic spotted up behind the 3-point line, waited for a Kevin Garnett pass and sunk a 3-pointer that left little doubt it was going in.
It was a shot that gave the Nets the lead for good at 92-89. Bogdanovic made all five of his field goal attempts in the third quarter and seven in a row at one point.
"He's a rookie but he's not because he's played at a high level for so long," Deron Williams said. "He's 25 years old and he knows how to play the game."
During his 11-point quarter, Bogdanovic knocked down a 14-foot jumper, two lay-ups, a dunk and a 3-pointer.
"I feel more comfortable game by game, especially because I play a lot of minutes," Bogdanovic said. "That's the key for me because [it helps] my confidence."
When the game ended and Bogdanovic finally had the chance to discuss the highest point total by an NBA rookie so far, he was encircled by a media crowd normally reserved for Williams, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez.
In the middle of it, Alan Anderson strolled to his locker and let out a "Damn Bogie."
Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.
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