Film Room: Mozgov vs Bynum

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.

  • DH

    “I believe Mozgov should return to being the starter and have his minutes increased to at least 20 while being tasked to cover Bynum.”

    That’s really interesting, Jeremy, especially since Mozgov has fallen out of favor with most fans, and apparently with Karl. These clips make a compelling case, though. That is some very solid one-on-one post defense against an almost unstoppable player. And I would also add that Moz gives us some pick-and-pop ability, which could be very valuable.

    My main concern is that both KK and McGee have a much better rebound rate than Mozzy. And the thing I fear the most is the Lakers killing us on the offensive glass, as they tend to do. I suspect Karl will start KK out of “trust”, but that all three centers will see a lot of court time.

    • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Jeremy

      We saw Mozgov get some run in the last couple of weeks, part of it was due to resting Harrington and part was due to blowouts, but I would like to think Karl was getting Mozzy ready to play against the Lakers.

      I also had some clips showing McGee matching up with Gasol, but I am not sure if I will have time to post it. I think Mozgov and McGee matching up against Bynum and Gasol could be a key for Denver to compete and possibly make this a seven game series.

      • DH

        I would love to see some extended minutes with Moz and McGee together. I’m just not counting on it. And if we do see it, hopefully McGee doesn’t put Gasol at the free throw line too much. He’ll have to play solid D. He’s certainly been doing much better at that lately, but Pau is pretty crafty.

  • Evan S

    I agree I think mozgov should start and play more than KK during this series but I doubt GK would make a change without giving koufus a chance. Remember when mozgov was playing really well to start the season? When he went down was when things went downhill.

  • zebort

    Thanks Jeremy. That’s what I was looking for. I agree that Mozgov should start on Bynum, because I don’t think Koufus will be able to hang with Bynum. However, I think you would give up rebounds starting Mozgov. Really a tricky choice between the two.

  • nida

    Nice work

  • Landry

    I see us winning only because Kobe keeps bricking shots. Hopefully Afflalo can make Kobe shoot at least 25 shots a game because nobody has shown the ability to defend Bynum or Gasol and we all know how Kobe loves to beat the Nuggets and GK. In essence we must hope pride become the downfall of their post superiority by not letting it become a factor. Grandly that means controlling the boards is the key to limiting Bynum and Gasol and so Mozgov should not be our go to guy. Personally just hoping to see some playoff basketball and see if Gallinari responds big-time to pressure… hopefully… maybe… okay just a solid performance will make this a good series. GO NUGGETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://yahoo mile high

    Good footage and I agree that Moz should probably play a bit more time than what he’s been getting lately. However, it really does not matter who gets to start against Bynum as long as we throw a lot of bigs at him and give all our bigs meaningful playing aa well as resting time so that whoever’s on the floor at any given time, all he needs to do is run, run, run and run the Lakers to the ground.

  • Aaron

    Good job on the film cut-up. But, I’m not sure. I feel like alot of those misses were coincidental. Now, the rejection of the lob, was not. And, I’m not sure K2 has the same length there. But, Mozzy was letting him get way too close to the rim on the catch, and I think he makes those if it’s the beginning of the game.

    To me, that’s the key. Bynum is going to get 8-10 in the 1st quarter, and that’s fine. It’s, can we keep him to the longer hooks and turns in the 3rd and 4th quarter instead of lobs and put-back dunks? That’s the difference between an 18 point game and a 30 point game for him.

    I’d still like to see Bird get some run to come off the weak side and swat a few of those. Bynum is not a great passer,. . . .

  • NuggFan forLife

    I wish you would send his vid to GK.

  • ryanvdonk

    i hope bird can see some time this series against gasol, that’s a good matchup for him since gasol isn’t going to overpower the bird and his shot blocking is always nice…