Many of us have cited what we believe needs to happen for Nugs to be competitive or contend in the coming year. Sign Nene. Dump Karl. Pray Gallo and Ty evolve. etc etc
But I believe their is one factor that will decide whether we will contend or regress.
The key is Mozgov.
Not because he's very good or helped the Knicks or Denver very much. But he is very very important to us next year.
Here's why. If Moz contributes we'll have a center that allows Nene to play PF and exert great pressure on other teams especially around the rim. With Nene attracting attention, Moz will benefit by getting alley oops and easy Rebs.
Gallo will be the 6'10" 230 lb small forward and while chipping in with rebs (not his forte) he can concentrate on staying in front of his man, drawing offensive fouls (very good at that) and playing off of the strength & size of Nene and Moz on offense.
Having Moz start allows us to bring a quality versatile forward, like Chandler or Faried, off the bench where they will not be pressured to put up starter stats.
Even with Ty at PG, our team has gained a lot of height, needed to battle the trees in the West.
But can we really expect Mozgov to be an important contributor?
I wouldnt bet on it. At least, not yet.
But I checked out Moz's performance and stats and this is what I suspected and stats back up.
1) Per game stats are misleading because Moz never played enough minutes to affect most games or compile stats. You have to look at stats per 36 minutes
I watched Knicks closely before trade and for 1st month, Moz was horrible. Resembled a body who'd never played BB before. But, after mid year, Moz seemed to have caught on and stats showed improvement.
Even with horrible start in NY, shot 46% from field, 71% from foul line, per 36 mins got 10.6 ppg, 8.2 rebs, 1.2 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.8 blocks. Considering everything, that is not a bad avg line.
On the Nugs, admittedly playing mostly garbage minutes, stats improved per 36 mins. FG% went to 52%, FT% to 75%, got 15.3 ppg. Other stats dipped a bit.
In only 15 minutes
Clogged up middle and neutralized Bynum.
Notice how Moz was improving as he got used to the pro game.
Want a little more hope & inspiration? Watch this:
AND I'll fight the first of you to suggest I embed the B Griffin dunk over Moz. Yes it looked great but that was Griffin and Moz just acted like a chair with a face.
P.S. Next meeting against Clips, Moz went 8/9, 6 rebs, 1 steal, 1 block, 2/2 FT, 18 pts had more dunks than Griff and helped Knicks to win over Clips. So, there.