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Thursday NBA grades: You can’t stop Mozgov and Faried. At least Golden State can’t.

Apr 11, 2014, 3:33 AM EDT

Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors Getty Images

Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while watching Jimmy Fallon and Anne Hathaway do Broadway versions of hip-hop classics….

source:  Timofey Mozgov, Denver Nuggets. It’s not just that Mozgov had a monster night — 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting, plus a career high 29 rebounds — it’s that he did it against one of the better defensive centers in the NBA in Andrew Bogut. The real key here was just pure hustle — Mozgov outworked Warriors players for the rebounds. He got his points by working hard off the ball, which led to a quick pass and an easy bucket. The Warriors have played good defense this season but didn’t Thursday night and Mozgov made them pay. That was a career night for the Russian big man.

source:  Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets. Mentioned in the Mozgov grade that hustle was winning the day for Denver, so no shock that the Manimal put up 18 points and 17 rebounds. But those numbers are not out of line with what Faried has done the second half of this season — Denver has needed him to score and he has shown off a vastly improved post game (he is shooting 56 percent from the post since the All-Star Game, via Zach Lowe). He’s so confident in his post game that when the Warriors cut off the play designed for a handoff to Randy Foye, Faried just backed his man down and nailed the game winner.

source:  Patty Mills, San Antonio Spurs. I am not a fan of the “most improved player” award because it can be nebulous to define. That said, Patty Mills would land on my ballot. All season long he has had to step in when Tony Parker gets the night off, as happened Thursday, and he has played brilliantly — 26 points, including 6-of-11 shooting from three in the win over Dallas. Okay, not the most efficient of nights (9-of-25 shooting) but he’s getting it done for the team that will have the best record in the NBA.

source:  Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs. If you’ve been watching “Cosmos” you know that certain bodies can bend space-time to their will. Tim Duncan is one of those bodies. He doesn’t seem to age. There was a real scare early in the game — he admitted it scared him, too — when Duncan hyperextended his knee. But soon he was back in the game and finished with 20 points, 15 rebounds and threw in a block. Spurs win again. Timeless.

  1. 00maltliquor - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:51 AM

    “My NOT…MRS. GRIFFIN…….. it’s TIMOFEY!!”

    -Timofey Mozgov after each board ripped down and every bucket scored

  2. davidly - Apr 11, 2014 at 5:46 AM

    If you’re not a fan of the award, don’t vote on it. Most Improved is for someone who improved their game, not someone who got increased opportunities, though one doesn’t exclude the other. The sports’ worlds’ semantic misapprehensions are what lead to the nebulousness of the qualifications.

    • danielv210 - Apr 11, 2014 at 5:55 AM

      Look at you trying to cradle your favorite players hopes of winning most improved player. Patty did improve his game greatly. Hence, the reason for his increased opportunities.

    • davidly - Apr 11, 2014 at 7:06 AM

      Patty Mills is a pretty good choice.

      I nominate Lance Stephenson with a per 36 comparison:
      2013 – .460 FG – .330 3P – .652 FT – 4.8 RB – 3.5 AST – 10.9 PTS
      2014 – .488 FG – .349 3P – .710 FT – 7.3* RB – 4.6 AST – 14.2 PTS

      *leads guards and all but four small forwards

  3. abchome - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    Mozgov: I love pizza rebound.

  4. naterich21 - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Even though Faried isn’t very big for his position, it’s good to see a big man get a shot at the game winner instead of a long range chucker.

  5. shaner329 - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    Timofey had a great night scoring 93 points

  6. fangstar - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:30 PM

    anybody else think faried traveled?

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