Russian import Timofey Mozgov could be the starting center when the New York Knicks open the season in Toronto in two weeks.
No, we’re not kidding. He will start for sure Monday against the Celtics — which would have been a good test if Shaq played, however he is resting — but if he keeps passing his tests he could be the opening night starter, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.
Who else you going to play? Ronny Turiaf? You are going to be hard pressed to find many bigger Turiaf supporters than yours truly, but he is a back up. He is a great energy big-man off the bench for 15-20 a game. He is not a starter.
Eddy Curry? Ha.
Mozgov is a guy who is very adept at the high pick-and-roll that is so crucial to Mike D’Antoni’s offense. He has good offensive movement and touch. The questions are can he defend and board better than Turiaf, and can he stay out of foul trouble. Boston should be a good test for those things.
Ultimately the five spot is something the Knicks need to upgrade, but in the short term Mozgov is going to get his shot. What he does with it will be something to watch for a couple weeks.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.