Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov may not be a household name in Denver just yet--after arriving from the New York Knicks in the Carmelo Anthony trade, the rookie appeared in just 11 games as a Nugget--but he's sure making sure the international hoops community is familiar with him.
Representing Russia in a friendly against Lithuania on Wednesday, Mozgov filled the lane on a fast break, took a bounce pass from a teammate, elevated from just beyond the charge semicircle, and threw down emphatically with both hands. Oh, and he drew a foul. Take a look at the vicious slam below:
That sort of athleticism is what prompted the Knicks to sign Mozgov to a three-year contract last summer despite never having seen him play against NBA-caliber competition. He had an uneven, and brief, New York career, and it might be telling that the Knicks won 10 of 11 games immediately after yanking him from the starting lineup. Strong showings against the Detroit Pistons (23 points, 14 rebounds) and the Los Angeles Clippers (18 points, 6 rebounds) indicate he has plenty of potential.
The future of the Nuggets' big men rotation is up in the air: Kenyon Martin and Nene will be free agents whenever the NBA lockout ends; while Chris Andersen's productivity has started to tail off with age; Al Harrington plays more of a perimeter-oriented game; and it's unclear whether third-year big man Kosta Koufos fits into Denver's plans following the coming season, the last of his rookie contract. Thus, Mozgov has an opportunity to prove he can anchor a team defensively by putting his athleticism and shot-blocking skills to good use.
But until then? We can just enjoy watching him dunk all over everyone in international competitions.
Hat tip: Get Banged On