Nuggets Journal: Group braces for scrimmage while awaiting Orlando supports
Officially or unofficially, the Nuggets remain in a pickle.
A minimum of seven of their players weren’t inside the NBA bubble as of Thursday afternoon, when brand-new Nugget Troy Daniels approximated that in between 8-to-10 of his teammates remained in Orlando. The group isn’t revealing or going over which players aren’t there or why players are MIA. But functionally, not having enough gamers when the team opens its skirmish schedule next Wednesday vs. Washington is an issue.
Seven-foot-two rookie Bol told reporters he ‘d really played some small forward in the team’s wonky practice lineups. On Friday, Nuggets coach Michael Malone provided a correction.
” Bol as a 2 guard is pretty exciting,” he quipped.
Videos from the group’s social networks accounts have actually trumpeted Malone and his fellow coaches racing the gamers through conditioning drills. One commemorated an elbow jumper that Malone buried in Jerami Grant’s grill. While Malone has often enjoyed running drills with his players, this is next level. When you think about that the majority of the team’s frontcourt is there, it’s hardly surprising to see Malone mixing it up with his guys.
A validated roll call: Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Will Barton, Paul Millsap, Noah Vonleh, Tyler Cook, Mason Plumlee, Grant, Daniels and Bol.
” We will have some unique lineups out there,” Malone stated Friday, acknowledging a concern over guys’ minutes. “We will be playing distinct defense. … And if we need to play Bol at point player, we’ll play Bol at point guard.”
When Murray tweeted Thursday, “Put me at the 4,” no one understood if he was joking.
Malone stated that the NBA was thinking about dropping the very first skirmish to just 40 minutes to represent teams (like the Nuggets) who are missing their complete enhance of gamers. It’s a start. Their next scrimmage is arranged 3 days later vs. the Pelicans.
However the bigger problem is that the entire team hasn’t played significant basketball in four months, and will be asked to do so beginning Aug. 1 vs. Miami in the very first seeding game. Their most considerable player, Jokic, only just recently gotten here to the bubble after an international flight followed by a mandated quarantine duration. Anybody who believes they ‘d run the risk of playing Jokic any significant period Wednesday hasn’t listened to the careful technique the Nuggets have actually preached.
” I think a group like us who is undermanned, throughout the board, the goal is to make it through these games, attempt to create some chemistry and continuity and attempt to show indications of improvement on both ends of the flooring,” Malone stated. “However the top thing for me is, can we survive these three skirmishes healthy and not getting guys certainly putting them in a position where they’re overworked, playing a lot of minutes and getting hurt.”
So the Nuggets, who currently missed crucial practice time after closing their facility prior to heading to Orlando, are up against it. Malone did handle to discover a silver lining, though. After discussing that Grant had also played some shooting guard, Malone sounded happily amazed at particular men who had actually found success while playing out of position. However, he ‘d choose the option.
” Does it (stink) that we do not have all our gamers here?” Malone said. “Yes it does.”
From now till Wednesday, the Nuggets can only hope some reinforcements start to drip in and that they can clear quarantine in time. If not, Wednesday might be a phenomenon.
” We actually have no expectations (for the skirmish),” Barton stated. “Only thing we’re going to ask is to take on who we have.”