Fournier could get opportunity as Nuggets seek shooting

Second-year guard has struggled to stay in coach Brian Shaw's rotation
by Aaron Lopez

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Contact hiring manager Brian Shaw.

After watching his team shoot less than .350 from 3-point range for the sixth time in the past seven games, the first-year Nuggets coach is searching for someone to knock down shots when Denver faces the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.

Expect second-year guard Evan Fournier to be among the first to get an opportunity off the bench.

After being a regular part of the rotation early in the season, Fournier has seen limited minutes over the past three weeks. He scored five points in 13 minutes Tuesday night against Oklahoma City as Shaw looked for a spark off the bench.

“To this point during the season, I’ve been trying to play 11 guys, which is tough to do,” Shaw said Wednesday. “It’s hard to find enough minutes to keep everybody in there. I tell Evan all the time: ‘Stay ready. You never know when you’re going to get out there. When you get out there, just let it go.’ ”

The chances of Fournier being part of the mix against the Suns increased after reserve swingman Jordan Hamilton was suspended one game for a Flagrant 2 during Denver’s loss to Oklahoma City.

Among the Nuggets who have attempted at least 20 3-pointers, Hamilton leads the team at 38.6 percent (34 of 88).

Starting guard Randy Foye is shooting .350 from long range, but he is 4-for-20 over his past five games. Reserve guard Nate Robinson is 6-for-23 in that same stretch.

With great shooting fundamentals, Fournier could be part of the solution as Shaw looks for a playmaker who can also stretch the floor.

“Some of our young guys like him, I want to develop,” Shaw said. “The only way they can is to get out there and get experience.”