Timofey Mozgov: “I hope I can take advantage of the current circumstances.” Source: AP
One of the most notable events of two first weeks of the regular season in the NBA, for Russian representatives, was Timofey Mozgov’s play as the center of the Denver Nuggets.
The basketball player, who mostly warmed the benches last season, is spending a lot of time on the court – and is playing quite well now.
“The new coach re-evaluated my role on the team,” Mozgov said in an interview with Kommersant. “It was this moment in my summer talks with Brian Shaw that became the decisive argument in favor of my staying in Denver, and extending my contract. The coach made it clear that he was relying on me, and would build a team, where the role of the “big ones” would be more important than it had been before. I now have a chance to show what I can do. And I am happy about this. The rest is up to me now. I really hope that I can take advantage of the current circumstances.”
Mozgov disagreed with those experts who have put Denver on the list of underdogs for the season.
“I cannot speak for experts or get into their heads, but I have a different opinion. We go out onto the court to win, as do our rivals. And the game will tell what the final result will be. It is too early to talk about our upper limit. Nothing is clear at the beginning of the season. The reason is obvious why we are not playing as good as we would like to be. It is the beginning of the season, and the renewed team, with a new coach and schemes, has not yet found its footing. We are watching, getting used to each other, learning, adapting... Some things work, others do not. It is a difficult process.”
Mozgov believes that the Miami Heat should not be crowned just yet – the team from Florida has quite serious contenders in the league.
Mozgov points to the results of the first games, in particular at the results of the games of the Miami Heat, in which there were three defeats in seven matches There are no undefeated teams in the NBA.
“It is interesting to watch Brooklyn. The club has a good mix. They now have to make a good team – as do many other contenders for the top spots,” he said.
According to Mozgov, Russian NBA beginner Sergey Karasyov, who moved this summer to the Cleveland Cavaliers, has every chance of consolidating his position in his new club.
“I am glad that there is one more Russian in the league. I wish Sergey good luck, and hope he adapts as quickly as possible. A lot depends on that – this is still a foreign country, a different way of life,” Mozgov said, adding that even more depends on the confidence of his coach.
“If this is present, the adaptation will go more quickly and smoothly, and it will be easier for him to find his place on the court. It is no doubt that Karasyov’s potential is at the NBA level. I hope he can now demonstrate it. It is good that he is already in the system at his age. He can make progress in the NBA – in the conditions of meticulously thought out organization of the lives of athletes, and the highest level of the game,” he said.
First published in Russian in Kommersant.ru.
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