I loved the Timofey Mozgov acquisition.
I cheered and rooted for him as he kept fouling constantly in the beginning of the season. I saddened when I realized he was still too raw to American ball and was benched. It felt like months since he had played.
Tonight however, the stars aligned as he got his chance to play with Shawne Williams out; and boy oh boy did he deliver.
The 7'1" gentle Russian giant finally stepped up in the biggest way—23 beautiful points and 14 lovely rebounds for an amazing double-double. The game was absolutely electric and he kept me roaring with cheers.
I have waited all season to see him step up big time. He sat on the bench quietly and waited for his chance to shine. Not once did I read or hear a complaint from him. He had certainly become invisible over the last few weeks but his hard work paid off.
There was much talk that he was putting a lot of effort into sharpening his skills to get better, and tonight, weeks of hard work and dedication to the sport paid off in the biggest way.
The future is bright for Mozgov.
One great game doesn't define a career—he must go out there again and prove he can remain this capable. But for now, the decision to put him in more games will just be that much easier.
And guess what? he is only 24 years-old.
I cannot wait to see Mozgov out there again on Wednesday.