The most difficult matchup for the Denver Nuggets in their playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers is Andrew Bynum. Bynum is the dominant offensive center in the NBA and the Nuggets must make sure that he does not score at will. Unlike in the past when the Nuggets bigs consisted of Nene, Birdman and Kenyon Martin, Denver has plenty of size to attempt to matchup with Bynum and Pau Gasol.
Out of Denver’s four centers, the one who does the best defending Bynum is Timofey Mozgov. In the Film Room segment below I have strung together six clips from the April 13 game where Mozgov is defending Bynum.
Editors Note: I had several technical issues while trying to edit and upload this video, so please do not judge me too harshly.
Mozgov was on the floor for 12 minutes and he was guarding Bynum for all 12. During that time Bynum was 3-6 scoring seven points and pulled down three rebounds. In the other 26 minutes Bynum played he was 8-13 compiling 23 points while collecting five rebounds. One thing to keep in mind of the three shots Bynum converted one was on a defensive goaltending call on Mozgov when he pulled the ball off the rim a split second too early after a Bynum miss and another one was that very difficult fading jump hook Bynum made that was shown in the Film Room clips.
I believe Mozgov should return to being the starter and have his minutes increased to at least 20 while being tasked to cover Bynum. Bynum is the key player for L.A. offensive and Denver has a player who has proven capable of defending him. They must take advantage of that fact and put him on the floor.