Someone in the game comments asked the question "Is Mozgov going to play tonight?" I figured it was a pretty safe bet that, yes, Mozzie would get some burn against one of the more monstrous players in league history. Particularly given the early fouls against the two remaining Knicks big men, Turiaf and Stoudemire, who would have thought Mozgov would wear his warm-ups all night?
Throughout the remainder of the game, the game thread grew more annoyed with Mozgov's lack of a shot against Dwight Howard. But as the game progressed, I started to think of why Mike D'Antoni (Who, if you're judging by the game thread, is the worst basketball coach to step on a court) would leave him on the bench the whole game. I came to the conclusion that it was probably the right move. Statistics aside, those of us who had the opportunity to watch the game saw that Howard was simply destroying people around the rim. What do you think he would have done to Timo Mozgov?
More accurately, what do you think he would have done to Timo Mozgov's confidence?
Look, it makes the most sense to clamor for Mozzie off the bench against gargantuan centers at first glance. But what if the coaching staff is trying to avoid playing him against behemoth and skilled match-ups to prevent big blows to his self-confidence? I mean, he's almost strictly a practice player at this point, so why would they choose to try him out against someone like Dwight Howard? No way he comes away from that match-up with positive results or a feel-good performance.
Maybe I'm desperately and foolishly trying to defend Coach D'Antoni. But as we all come down from the emotional high of losing two games in a row, both in a very frustrating manner, let's think about whether it actually would have been a good idea to expose Mozgov to his first significant minutes in nearly a month against the best big man in the game.