The Nuggets returned home after going 2-0 on a brief Midwest road trip and are showing no signs of slowing down now.
The Nuggets practiced today after taking yesterday off and I was able to talk with Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris, and Coach Malone. On top of brief interviews, I was also able to learn a few non-basketball related things about Mason Plumlee.
Did you know…?
Mason’s favorite movie is Shawshank Redemption and that he loves mint chocolate chip ice cream? (Me too, Mason. Me too)
Emmanuel Mudiay, who hasn’t been starting since his return from injury had a few comments on his new role.
“It’s different but just try to stay ready as much as possible just working on my game and control what I can control.”
Emmanuel says that, after starting for a year and a half, it’s tough. He also says that he hasn’t changed how he prepares for games and has continued to do what he’s done for the past year and a half.
Regardless of his new role, Emmanuel believes that Jameer is the PG that is best fit for the starting role right now.
“He [Malone] wants to go with Jameer. He’s a veteran and he’s been to the playoffs […] he’s [Jameer] trying to make that push.”
“We’ve definitely been more aggressive,” Harris said about how the team has been playing out of the All-Star break.
With 9 of the next 12 games being at home, Gary knows that we need to continue to win, especially at home.
Gary also attributes his improvement of his three point shooting to staying in the gym and being repetitive. Harris is one of the top catch-and-shoot three point shooters in the league with 42%.
If you missed Wednesday nights game, there was a possession where the Nuggets made 9 passes in 12 seconds, making it one of the best possessions that this team had throughout the season. This is what Gary had to say on that possession:
“Man, I was so tired after moving around so much. It was like we were playing hot potato with the ball,” he said with a chuckle.
As you can imagine, Coach Malone is very happy with coming home winning 2-0 on the mini road trip and he’s very happy with his players but he also knows that there’s still work to do in order to keep the hold on the 8th seed.
“It’s got to be every single night for us. Tomorrow night another challenge against Charlotte Hornets and Kemba Walker, who’s a very good All-Star player.”
I also asked Coach Malone about how he’s felt with Plumlee:
“I’ve loved Mason. Great kid. First and foremost, really fits the culture that we’re trying to have here. Terrific work ethic, high IQ, unselfish.”
Malone boasted about Mason’s defensiveness that this team has been lacking. He also admitted that he needs to put more faith in the new Nugget.
“I have to trust him more though. I have to put the ball in his hands more when I take Nikola out so we don’t become so stagnant. […] I can continue to do a better job with trusting and allowing Mason to be the playmaker that he is.”
Jameer Nelson went through a full practice today. It’s believed that he had food poisoning and he’s set to play tomorrow night against Charlotte.
Kenneth Faried is out for tomorrow nights game with his back spasms. He’s been getting around the clock treatments.