Timofey Mozgov has been the source of frustration for Cavs fans all year. He's just not the player he was when the Cavs acquired him last season, and it's affecting the folks he's playing with.
As you can see, when the Cavaliers three best players are lined up alongside Timofey Mozgov, they're getting shellacked. Being outscored by 8.3 points per 100 possessions with three max-quality players on the floor is sort of a disaster.
For a frame of reference, that's the same net rating as the Phoenix Suns this season.
Again, Timofey Mozgov joins a lineup with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love and turns them into the on-court equivalent of the 21-58 Phoenix Suns.
I'd speculate that a lot of the hand-wringing about how Kyrie, Kevin and LeBron "fit" together is factored into the reality that the Cavaliers have thrown them out there with Mozgov for the first six minutes of each half. It's just a lineup that doesn't work.
Mozgov has been less active and mobile on the defensive end, and when paired with Kevin Love, neither of the duo really have the mobility to chase more spry bigs, or guards on switches. The offensive dropoff is the real issue though, and that's hard to diagnose. Mozgov has been significantly worse at the rim this year, and it's starting to look like last year's post-trade numbers (73 percent!) might have been an outlier.
It's been noted that Tyronn Lue may be playing Mozgov these minutes at starter to protect Tristan Thompson from wear and tear as well as letting him feast against second units, but, as David Zavac noted earlier today, Tyronn Lue's insistence on playing Mozgov is starting to affect the rest of the Cavaliers lineups.
Love and Channing Frye have only played 27 minutes together, and clearly Mozgov isn't providing the defensive boon the team would hope for in the starting lineup.
It's a bummer, and one has to wonder if the Cavaliers staff is just hoping Mozgov stumbles on some of last year's magic. He's short bursts of competence, but it hasn't worked yet. It's disappointing because Mozgov clearly is trying and his frustration on the court is visible.
The hope is that, when the playoffs hit, Lue will phase Mozgov out of the rotation. I joked in the infographic, but it's clear that LeBron James has been frustrated by Mozzy this season, and he's tried a thousand different ways to motivate, lead and get him back on track.
It's not working. Mozgov still is a net negative for this team, and while they should still be more than good enough to win the East in their current configuration, their margin for error will go way down as they get closer to a title. If LeBron really is "coaching" the team, as pundits so often like to suggest, his next move should be to convince Tyronn Lue to phase Mozgov out of the rotation.