When the New York Knicks signed 7″1′ Russian center Tomofey Mozgov to a 3-year, $9.7 million contract in early July, I, like many of you, gave a big ‘Huh?’ Part of that is the result of people, myself included, not being as aware of international prospects. The other part was that Donnie Walsh and the Knicks seemingly did it under the cover of darkness.
As was pointed out at The Painted Area, if other teams suspected Mozgov’s interest in playing in the NBA this season, as opposed to staying with his Russian club, BC Khimky Moscow, and getting more seasoning, there would have been more competition for his services. And especially curious when you consider that the Knicks signed Mozgov while the New Jersey Nets and their new Russian owner were licking their wounds from losing LeBron.
The Painted Area also called Mozgov the best free-agent candidate, factoring his youth of 24 years, behind Brendan Haywood and Darko Milicic, and described him as a “powerful finisher.” Well, not so much against Yi Jianlian (according to the visual eye, not necessarily a FIBA referee). For an explanation, let’s go to the GIF machine …
After a drive by Russian guard Dmitry Khvostov, on which Yi helps off of Mozogv, the ball is dished to TimoFey who has the baseline and an open path to the basket. But hold those Russian horses, the athletic Yi whips around and ain’t scared to meet young Timmy at the rim.
Get that shhhiii____ — Wait … that was a foul? Yi’s immediate complaint to the ref indicates a disagreement on his part, and I’d have to support him. Maybe there’s some questionable contact with the body — it does look like Yi is only using a bent arm to protect his own space (not a foul) — there is certainly no contact above which warrants a tweet of the whistle. Let’s look again …
Still relatively inconclusive. Still not really a foul.
Oh well Yi, you keep doing you.
Note: Last season Yi averaged 1.1 blocks per 36 minutes, the same rate as Andray Blatche, but far behind JaVale McGee’s 3.8 per/36. Hilton Armstrong averaged 1.3 blocks/36 over 33 total games with three teams in 2009-10.
Also worth noting: Some of the new guys can block shots too. Via the stats at Draft Express, last season Trevor Booker blocked 1.8 shots per 40 minutes (pace adjusted) at Clemson; Kevin Seraphin averaged 2.2 blocks per 40 (pace adjusted) in 29 games with his French club; and Hamady Ndiaye, the Big East Defensive POY, averaged 6.3 blocks per 40 (again, pace adjusted), which was second most in the NCAA to Marshall’s Hassan Whiteside.
US vs. Turkey – FIBA 2010 Final
TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott and I watched last Sunday’s USA-Turkey FIBA World Championship game under similar, but different circumstances. Similar on tape delay, different as I was out at Adams Morgan Day taking pictures of Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys jerseys while Henry was watching the Cosby Show on DVD (by some forced family reason). Henry ultimately put together 14 great observations on the FIBA championship game. Read them all, but here are my added comments on a select few:
#1. For the reason Henry outlines is why I would be curious about NBA games having 10 minute quarters, or at least a faster, more crisp flow to the game. After FIBA games, I found myself feeling incredibly efficient in my basketball viewing. But alas, and unfortunately, time is money and longer National Basketball Association “experiences” (as Twitter reminded me) are worth more to potential sponsor/advertising dollars. Then again, shorter games, but better, more creative fillers would at least help players sustain their health a little bit better during the duration of 82-games.
#3. Henry finds a way to incorporate his viewing of the Cosby Show, specifically, comparing Vanessa to Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook. I hope John Wall never tries to be a Vanessa.
#7. Worth the gander.
#8. That damn Hedo Turkoglu.
#13. If you get mad at that, you’re looking for a reason. And well, fans of losing teams usually are. That’s life kid.
#14. The outcries over the system were almost necessary … well, at least in terms of the types of superstars who garner the star attention and thus boosting them to Team USA (thanks Nike and other shoe companies!) … and it’s still not enough. The level of outcry is negligent, the lesson learned isn’t.