Mozgov will move to the bench Monday against the Knicks, Bill Oram of the Orange County Register reports.
The Lakers will shake things up Monday, as both Mozgov and Luol Deng will come off the bench. Tarik Black will get the nod at center, with Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram at the two forward spots. Mozgov has started all 52 games in which he's played this season, and at this point it's unclear if the shift to the bench will be permanent. It's likely that coach Luke Walton is simply looking for something to spark the Lakers, who have dropped 10 of their last 12 contests heading into Monday.
Mozgov is being pushed by emerging rookie Ivica Zubac, who's outpaced him in playing time the last two games and has provided consecutive double-doubles in the process. However, the veteran center was impressive in his own right Thursday relative to his modest opportunity. The scoring total was Mozgov's best since Jan. 8 versus the Magic, and he's now hauled in between eight and 11 rebounds in three of the last four contests. However, the 30-year-old's minutes often max out in the low 20s, and given Zubac's recent play, that figure could be even more limited for the foreseeable future, even if Mozgov holds on to his spot on the first unit.
Mozgov tallied 15 points (7-7 FG, 1-1 FT), nine rebounds, two assists and one steal in 30 minutes during Sunday's 111-95 win over the Magic.
Mozgov had a perfect shooting performance on his way to just his 16th double-digit game of the season. The 30-year-old just nearly missed out on his second double-double of the season. Mozgov is averaging 8.2 points and 4.9 rebounds in 21.7 minutes per game this season as his role continues to be dependent on matchups.
Mozgov played 11 minutes in Thursday's 118-109 loss to the Trail Blazers, accruing seven points (3-5 FG, 1-1 FT) and five rebounds.
The 11 minutes were a season-low total for Mozgov, and incidentally, it came just one game after he saw a season-high 38 minutes Tuesday against the Grizzlies. The drastic downturn in playing time illustrates the volatility of Mozgov's role, which seems to be mostly dictated by matchup. As such, Mozgov isn't an especially reliable lineup option in season-long leagues, and even when he sees sizable minutes, his low usage rate limits his upside in DFS contests.
Mozgov registered 14 points (7-12 FG), five rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal across 38 minutes in a 116-102 win over the Grizzlies on Tuesday.
Mozgov's allotment of playing time was a season high by a whopping five minutes, as coach Luke Walton gave him some extended run in order to stymie opposing center Marc Gasol. The 7-foot-1 Russian ultimately fouled out of the contest, but not before delivering his first double-digit scoring outing in four games. Mozgov had seen just 16 and 21 minutes in the prior two games, so don't expect him to come close to approaching Tuesday's level of playing time most nights.
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