Mozgov blogs about his new role
This was posted just a few hours before Sunday’s game. The original title of Timofey’s blog post at Sports.ru is “-2” and “+8” or Life after a Double-double.
Once again, please keep in mind that I do it just in my free time, and really quick too – so don’t pick on the wordings too much.
And, multiple closing parentheses is the way Mozgov puts smileys.
The hype is over, passions cooled down, life goes on. Everything is back to normal, and not in a worst way)) Yes, the game vs. Dallas wasn’t impressive (especially after the double-double that preceded it), but still I got some necessary experience. And after that we went to Philadelphia…
But first I’ll answer your questions about the two episodes in the game vs. Detroit that interested you the most, judging by the comments under my posts.
First one. When I was inbounding the ball and committed a turnover and later talked to Felton about something. That was regular talk on the court during the game, but it didn’t concern that one mistake of mine. I was saying that we should see each other on the floor. We talked about an episode that happened a bit earlier, when Raymond made a pass, which I didn’t expect, and basically there was no way I could see it.
And that turnover, by the way, happened for a very simple reason: just a flaw in the game because of bad execution of Knicks’s schemes. After a scored basket we try to put the ball into play quickly. In those situations the playmaker runs along the baseline and turns his head so that he can see where the ball is going to be thrown in front of him. So I passed the ball like during practices, but it turned out that he didn’t look.
Second episode. It seemed like during the last seconds I was asking for the ball to shoot a trey. To be honest, I don’t remember that, but I wasn’t going to shoot from behind the arc, that’s for sure.
So it’s like that, friends! OK, moving on.
During the home game vs. Dallas fans didn’t chant my name anymore and didn’t ask the coach to put me in the game. Though when I was about to leave for practice some guys near my home shouted «O, Mozgov, the good game!» (as quoted by Mozgov – A.C.). In the gym, guys reminded about “23 + 14”, but not as before, just did it on the go. So there was nothing special. And it makes me feel good. It’s enough already, time to move on.
By the way, the ball is not ready yet. When they make it, I’ll try to take a picture of it. So you’ll see how it looks.
At practice coach didn’t say anything about me either. But, of course, I had an idea and lots of hope that I would play vs. Dallas. I entered the game, but I almost didn’t guard Nowitzki. Oh, it was hard for his opponents. Everybody knows how strong and skillful Dirk is. He is a super basketball player. He can both use his strength to post up, or make some phenomenal shots.
Not everything was going for me that day. But it happens. It’s good that I didn’t make stupid mistakes.
But in Philadelphia I satisfied my heart’s desire. I leaned it from the media that it became known the day before that my time would be cut. Like, Chandler was coming back and coach said that maybe I wouldn’t play at all. Anyway, I knew that most likely I would get to play. Still, that I played 20 minutes, it was a pleasant surprise. Maybe if I stayed on the court for about 40 minutes I would get my second career double-double. Because I was only one point and three rebounds short of it))
When I dunked on the break, I though Ronny would jump out of his pants. He is always supportive and is happy when I’m doing well. During practices he’s playing tough and nobody gets a break, me included. But during the games he supports his teammates sincerely. I think he’s just doesn’t seek some incredible amount of playing time no matter what, so he doesn’t see competition in me. Coach will always find a way he to use him, because he’s such a great player. And like I said, a very cool guy.
All of my five first rebounds came on the offensive glass. Two blocked shots (one of them on Brand)))… Those numbers along with the efficiency rating of “+8” were the best on the team, despite the loss by just two points.
I was thinking about what has changed in my game to this day.
The schemes are the same. The goals are the same too. Only the nuances are a little bit different. I rarely rebound on the defensive glass, There, my goal is to box out. On the offensive glass – why box out? So I’m just crashing the boards.
Right now I’m playing a bit closer to the rim, the coach allows me to do that. Or, to be more precise, he allows me to decide more depending on the situation. But, of course, within the Knicks’s schemes.
Also, we are constantly watching my game tape with one of the coaches. I’ll be honest, it’s really helps! Later you can analyze the moves and try to see all the other possible ways that episode could play out. For the future, so to say. Results of this work have already helped me on the court many times.
There was one interesting moment. After the Sixers game it so happened that I had a conversation with one guy in the stands. It turned out he’s collecting basketball cards. Just imagine: he has 42,895 photos in his collection! Some of them are very old. Of that number, 2500 were signed “live”. There are some devoted basketball fans!!! He said that he has my card too, though he didn’t have it with him. He promised that he would bring it next time. And I promised that I would sign it.
Here’s one more thing that I want to tell you about. Today I wrote this phrase several times already, “I felt that I would get to play”. I guess it can lead to more questions from you. You already said that you find it strange that the coach talks about our roles on the court, but we don’t know anything about it.
I’ll explain. Coach rarely discusses with us anybody’s personal future, game-wise. All the more, he doesn’t do it before every game. But he’s much more willing to do this when talking to the media. I guess the nuances of the NBA and the coach’s profession concern working with the media too. For example, I have just learned it from journalists that I should start in our next game vs. Philadelphia – because I wasn’t too bad playing against Brand on defense.