The NBA has its ways to get talented players on the court. Wether it be their potential is so eye-popping that the coach can’t help but play them or that the players ahead of them get injured, they somehow find a way to get playing time. Gary Harris went out the first game of the preseason with a groin injury. In his second season in the NBA Gary Harris was the Nuggets starting at shooting guard for the Denver Nuggets. He was steadily improving and proved to be the Nuggets best slasher. Once Harris went down with the groin injury, Mike Malone was forced to start his best player off of the bench Will Barton. Barton has led the Nuggets in scoring throughout the first week of the season and looked as if he was ready for another breakout season. With a little bad luck and reckless movements, Barton sprained his ankle against the Toronto Raptors on Monday.
Although I am sure no Nuggets fan or player is happy with their starting shooting guard or leading sixth man getting injured, we all know that some are thinking this can be a good thing. Neither of the mentioned injuries are career threatening, if anything they could be marked down as early rest for our hardest working players. One good thing that comes out of all of this is Jamal Murray getting the opportunity to start and score his first NBA bucket. Jamal has gone 0 for 8 through his first 3 NBA games but that is nothing to worry about. The Canadian teenager has only played south of 13 mpg in his first 3 games and has played alongside Jameer Nelsen, who sadly is not known for setting up his teammates.
Jamal Murray was the leading scorer amongst all rookies last season in the NCAA. Murray took over 7 three-point shots a game and connected on nearly 41% of them. He has shown he can score even if he takes a high volume of shots and that is something that cannot be ignored. He wants to be the guy with the ball in his hands when it counts and he will hopefully get his chance tonight against the Minnesota Timberwolves. His sneaky athleticism allows him to get past slower defenders and his tricky ball-handling allows him to create enough space to get his shot off. The “Blue Arrow” is also good at finding his teammates out of the pick and roll and he has a nice soft floater in the lane.
The estimated lineup for tonight’s game against the Timberwolves includes.