At practice in Pepsi Center today Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw announced that Timofey Mozgov will be starting at center in place of J.J. Hickson. In a question I asked him about Jan Vesely, Shaw dropped the bombshell and admitted he had been pondering it for awhile, saying:
"...it was a tough decision (bringing in Mozgov to start at center) and it's something I've been thinking about doing for the last couple of weeks," Shaw said. "I wanted Timo to really come in off a better performance than last night (versus the Sacramento Kings) but ... with some of these big centers that we have been playing against I like his size in there and his ability to protect the rim, more so than we have been getting."
He also admitted it wasn't necessarily about Hickson's recent poor showing
"It's not an indictment on JJ. It's just no secret he has been struggling at the free throw line," Shaw added. "I feel like it's affected his confidence ... like him not rolling to the basket as aggressively as he had been. Running the floor maybe because he didn't want to get fouled and go to the free throw line."
Shaw also indicated that this move with Mozgov may not be a permanent move for the season.
"Its not a permanent thing, but it's something we've got to go through now."
So, after long clamoring from Denver Stiffs and our readers, Timofey Mozgov will finally get his chance to not just be an "injury replacement" starter. Will he make it hard for Shaw to take him out of the starting lineup? Or will he have another disappointing game like he did against the Kings?
Time will tell.