The good news for the Denver Nuggets going into their game against the Houston Rockets is that Wilson Chandler expects to play after practicing on Tuesday. Chandler had been suffering an apparent groin injury which left his status as questionable for Wednesday. The bad news however, is that JaVale McGee is still listed as questionable with his left shin. McGee sat out Denver’s victory over the Indiana Pacers on Monday night with the injury.
On a positive note, McGee’s MRI showed no stress fracture of the left tibia so he should return rather quickly. Both Chandler and McGee played a big role for the Nuggets last week in their victory over the Rockets as both reserves combined for 34 points.
With the injury to McGee, it allowed seldom used center Timofey Mozgov to have a bigger role in the Nuggets gameplan on Monday night. Mozgov played 25 minutes against the Pacers, just his third game of 20 or minutes on the season, and contributed 10 points and solid defensive play.
“You stay ready every game,” Mozgov said to the media following the game. “It’s not easy but all I do is try to be ready and play hard on the court. Sometimes I have some mistakes. Sometimes I have good defense and bad defense. I just keep working hard. That’s it.”
Mozgov was reported as one of the last two players off the practice court on Tuesday afternoon which means the possibility of a more expanded role for the 7-footer.
Head Coach George Karl is comfortable using Mozgov and knows that the big man wants a bigger role.
“He’s not been dealt a fair hand,” Karl told Aaron Lopez of Nuggets.com. “He’s played better than the minutes he gets. Unfortunately that happens in our game a little bit too much. Timo’s stayed strong. He’s been tremendous in practice. He’s professional. He probably works as hard as anybody on our team.”
With the trade deadline looming and an expiring contract, Mozgov has a chance to take advantage of his playing time to make himself more attractive to other teams.