Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
The Knicks will start 7-foot-1, 250-pound Russian center Timofey Mosgov Wednesday against the Boston Celtics at MSG.
Mozgov will join Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and Amar’e Stoudemire in the starting lineup.
However, it now appears that Mozgov won’t have to go up against Shaquille O’Neal because Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Tuesday night after the Celts played the Philadelphia 76ers that he was leaning toward sitting Shaq against the Knicks. Shaq, 38, missed the Sixers game with a bad hip.
“I’m just taking a break,” Shaq told the Boston Herald. “I”ve just got a couple of knicks and knacks. The real deal is about to start, so it’s all about that. I want to make sure that starts perfectly for the team.”
Asked Tuesday if there were any dangers in having Mozgov face Shaq, Knicks head coac Mike D’Antoni cracked: “We’ll that it’s against Shaq. That he could get clobbered. That’s not good, that’s a danger. He may run back to Russia.”
Mozgov has had a tendency to get in foul trouble early, but D’Antoni said that might happen whether he starts o rnot.
“He could get in foul trouble,” he said. “He ‘ll have to watch that but he could do that coming off the bench, too.”
D’Antoni said Mozgov will have to learn how to post up, but he likes his athleticism and shooting ability.
“He’s a smart player, knows how to play,” D’Antoni said. “7-1, runs the floor extremely well.”
D’Antoni said he also wants to look at Billy Walker, Landry Fields, Roger Mason, Andy Rautins and Anthony Randolph.
“They’re all fighting for extra minutes,” he said. “It’s been great competition up till now and I’m sure it will continue that way.
“And at some point you have to make a decision on your rotation and who’s getting the bulk of the minutes.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.