The NBA post-season is just around the corner, and many teams are hitting their stride when it matters the most. The Denver Nuggets have won eight in a row and 13 in a row at the Pepsi Center, and are still fighting for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The center position is one that many might overlook when looking at the Nuggets roster, and to be honest, they might be right in doing so. I mean, yes, we don’t have Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan, Tyson Chandler or Pau Gasol, but we do have players that have helped the team get in the position they are now.
If the Nuggets continue to have key contributions from every single position, they have a chance to continue the winning streak to one comparable to the Miami Heat‘s current streak. They could feasibly even take the third spot in the Western Conference, overtaking the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers.
The Nuggets have three seven-footers at the center position and all three have their own way of helping the team out.
Kosta Koufos is the starter and the former Buckeye is averaging 8.1 points per game, 6.6 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 22.6 minutes. Koufos can play down low and his hook shot has been looking pretty good. He plays better half-court ball than his replacement off the bench, but still can manage to get up and down the court fast the way Denver likes to play.
Coming off the bench to substitute for Koufos is JaVale McGee, a player that has the ability to excite the crowd and get the bench jumping with his monster dunks. McGee is averaging 9.6 points per game, 4.7 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 18.6 minutes. McGee probably averages more points than the starter because he gets up the floor quick, finishing with an acrobatic alley-oop jam a large percentage of the time.
The last center and seven-footer we have to look at from the Nuggets is Timofey Mozgov. The Russian national team member has only started once this season but you can never have enough seven-footers on your roster, right? The 7 foot 1 inch big man adds another element to the Nuggets depth.
He is averaging 2.7 points per game, 2.5 rebounds, 0.5 blocks and 9.2 minutes. He also has the best free-throw percentage among Denver’s centers at 72.7 percent.
These guys aren’t putting up Shaquille O’Neal numbers, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t contributing. They all have a hand in the success of the team this year and will look to make some noise in the playoffs.