Timofey Mozgov on his DNP-CD’s, LeBron and Amare
Here’s a translation of Timofey’s blog post at Sports.ru, which has the title “DNP” and went online on December 22.
Facts are stubborn things, but anyway, they don’t always show how the things really are.
We have already played nine games in December. In four of those games I only played five minutes or less. The other four, I didn’t play at all.
These days a tough series of games has ended. Denver, Boston, Miami, and in the end Cleveland. Of course, Cavs belong to another weight class the other three teams, but after playing those previous games they were hard to beat too.
If you look at the whole marathon then the loss to Cavs wasn’t such a tragedy, especially if you consider that the game was close and went to the wire. First of all, it was a back-to-back game. Second, Amare, of course, got a bit tired of setting the records.
Remember his achievement: against Washington he had 30 points and 10 rebounds in a seventh straight game. Last time in Knicks history Willie Naulls did it in 1962 (I read about it on the internet). Then, in the game vs. Denver our leader lacked only two rebounds to reach that quota (and he still scored his thirty). After that, again: 39 + 10. and then 24 + 14 and 23 + 11. But of course it was already harder for him to score those points…
I missed the games vs. Celtics and Cavs. But in the game vs. Miami coach allowed me to smell the powder and face LeBron. “The King” is a real king! A superstar, one hundred percent!
Physically he is very strong, fast and a great leaper. But what’s most important: he is outrageously calm. He doesn’t flare up, doesn’t hurry and manages to do everything in time. He’s playing very confident and sober-minded. I think this ability to keep his cool compliments his talent perfectly. Or, even, it’s an integral part of his talent.
It was him, basically, who buried us. Everybody thought it would be hard for him to play the first part in this Big Trio. At least because he’s a newcomer and there are other heroes on the team. But “His Majesty” has surprised everybody once again: he showed that his abilities, which we all thought we already knew well, are not yet uncovered completely. And Wade and Bosh don’t stay in the way. It’s fantastic! A top-class player!
By the way, maybe he just likes to play in New York? At least I know he frequently mentioned it to his friends.
The Heat, of course, is a stronger team in terms of individual talent. And I got to play against it. But I liked the game vs. Celtics more. They won by a smaller margin, and even that happened with a scandal. But their team game is just astonishing! Especially on defense. I wasn’t surprised by it, of course, because they play together for some time. It’s just that I liked so much. And it was a nice game to watch.
Did Amare release his three-pointer in time? If you only watch this part, then, of course, no – he was late. But the question is, how much time there was left for that last possession – 0.4 seconds or 0.6 seconds. When did they stop the timer after Pierce scored? It looks like not at 0.6. You make your own conclusions.
After the Cleveland game where I god another DNP – Coach’s decision, I have read – yet another time – that Mozgov is losing is losing the trust of the coach.
I’ll say this: on my part there’s no panic!
First of all, I’ll repeat myself: coach has talked several times about the different rotation schemes. Second, we have talked with him about it, even though briefly. He promised to get me back on the court, and I have no reason not to trust him. Third, I think right now he’s just found the game he was looking for and that got us rolling.
This tempo and playing style have helped us win eight straight games. And, by the way, it also helped to calm down Amare who got a little disappointed. Did you read anything new about him not being happy? There you go. And morale of the leader is very important! Last time the Knicks had a winning streak like this almost ten years ago.
So it’s not surprising that coach doesn’t want to make any changes. You are writing about small ball system and that Amare is able to play center because in the Eastern Conference he doesn’t face tough opponents at this position. Of course, all of it is right. By the way, guys, you are a great audience: it’s really nice to read the competent comments by people who know the game well!
But it’s only right for the current moment. Don’t forget that the distance is long. Can we play at this pace for the whole season? With seven or eight players? 80 games? It’s unreal! So I will get another chance. What’s most important is to adapt and also do my best during practices.
I have read this in comments under my posts: “…and this is why he should do everything in such a way that later he could turn back and say, “Yes, I did everything I could. I’m not ashamed…”” I say hi to the author! I’ve read it. And I reply: “I’m not ashamed! Tomorrow, in addition to the main practice, I will have my usual individual practices with three Knicks specialists who have particular specialties.
I think the fact that the club spends so much power and resources on me, it gives me yet another reason to be optimistic. If D’Antoni got disappointed in me, I wouldn’t have such a luxurious opportunity to get better during individual practices.
And, to finish it, a person gets used to anything good really quick, right? When I was just leaving for the NBA I thought I would only play for five or seven minutes. But remember my first month – I was starting my American career in a starting lineup! (By the way, at the time we were playing in a more traditional manner, which once again illustrates the player rotation). So it’s not surprising that right now even ten minutes look like it’s not enough.
Believe me too: I want to play very much. But it goes the way it should. Thanks to the coach: he gave me an opportunity to dive into this atmosphere of competition from the get go, to feel it on the court what the league is like.
Right now I got another opportunity to move forward: to think over the experience that I got, to weigh things up carefully, to make the right conclusions, to improve my athleticism and skills and make another leap. Maybe not this season. Right now the most important thing is to get experience. But coach promised he would give me a chance, and when it comes to me, I will do my best to use it.
You should agree with me that panic is a bad advisor; it’s hard to work productively when it’s there. But I’m not complacent either. So, I’ll repeat myself: I’m not ashamed)))
By the way, I’ve read on the web about major changes that happened to my previous team. The contract with head coach Sergio Scariolo was cancelled by mutual agreement. So, I wish the guys to go through the rebuilding process quicker. Changes of this kind normally provide a strong emotional boost. I think it will help the team right now. And I wish good luck to the coach – thank you for the time that you devoted to me.