DENVER -- Some New York Knicks fans were disappointed when center Timofey Mozgov was included as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade in February 2011. The 7-foot-1 Russian has done nothing to make the Knicks regret his inclusion, though, mostly toiling on the end of the Nuggets' bench.
Mozgov has seen an increase in action of late, though, with Denver starting center JaVale McGee shelved with a leg injury. Mozgov entered Friday night’s game against the Knicks averaging 8.1 points while shooting 54.7 percent from the field.
Mozgov was asked Friday if facing the Knicks has extra significance for him after the trade.
“I prepare the same way I do every game and I’m going to play the same way I do every game,” said Mozgov, who went scoreless but blocked three shots in the Nuggets' win Friday night. “But at the same time, the Knicks are the team that brought me into the league. I still feel like I have some good memories about New York.”
Mozgov cracked a smile when asked about the difference between the media in New York and in Denver, saying: “The media on me has taken it easy every time because I don’t speak English very well.”
Former Knicks forwards Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari, also part of the Anthony trade, remain with the Nuggets as well. Each was injured to start the season, but Chandler made his ninth appearance (sixth start) Friday night. Gallinari (partially torn ACL in left knee) has been sidelined since late last season.
Kidd reaction: The Knicks seemed to be amused by former teammate Jason Kidd’s cup-spill incident. Now the Brooklyn Nets coach, Kidd was fined $50,000 by the NBA on Friday after Nets player Tyshawn Taylor bumped into Kidd with 8.3 seconds left in Wednesday night's Nets game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The ensuing clean-up delay allowed the Nets to set up a play, although Brooklyn didn’t score and ended up losing 99-94.
“I saw that online, I didn’t see it live, but I thought it was brilliant,” Knicks center Tyson Chandler said. “He has a great basketball mind.”
Forward Carmelo Anthony told reporters that Kidd was the type of guy to do anything for his team and is a great leader. It begged the question whether he was intimating that the Knicks were lacking leadership during their current swoon.
Burned by the dribbler: The Knicks have had a difficult time stopping opposing point guards in recent weeks, and Friday's game was no different. Nuggets guard Ty Lawson scored 22 points and handed out eight assists.
“It’s always good from a coaching standpoint to watch young players develop over the years, and he’s gotten better,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said of Lawson. "Obviously, he’s put in his time and it’s paid off for him.”