Triple-A a bona fide triple threat for the Nuggets
As the 2010-11 season approaches, Nuggets.com is taking a closer look at each Nuggets player and their prospects for the upcoming season. Assistant coach Chad Iske, entering his 12th season with the team, was kind enough to provide a scouting report, which reflects the views of the Nuggets coaching staff as a whole.
Today’s featured player is shooting guard Arron Afflalo, who enjoyed a breakout year after being traded from Detroit to Denver prior to the 2009-10 season. He started 75 of 82 games and averaged career highs in nearly every statistical category.
As his coaches and teammates will attest, Afflalo is the hardest-working player on the team. He spent the first part of the summer running the beach and working out in Los Angeles before returning to Denver in July to refine his overall game.
Afflalo regularly ends his practice by hitting 10 three-pointers from seven spots around the arc. He went 70-for-93 on one particular day during training camp, giving the Nuggets reason to believe he’s going to be a huge perimeter threat again in 2010-11.
Here are a few things you need to know about Arron Agustin Afflalo, who celebrated his 25th birthday Friday:
BEST PERFORMANCE LAST SEASON
Afflalo made 9-of-11 shots, including 6-of-7 threes, and tied his career-high with 24 points in a victory over Charlotte on Jan. 25. He also set a career-high with seven assists.
COACHING STAFF’S ASSESSMENT OF 2009-10
“We thought Arron stepped in and gave us a lot of the defensive presence that we lost when Dahntay Jones left (as a free agent), especially in the starting unit. We were very happy that he was an efficient player and an efficient scorer for us. His shots came few and far between, but he was able to make a good percentage of the ones he got.”
OUTLOOK FOR 2010-11
“Arron’s had an incredible summer. He’s worked tirelessly on his game. We’re looking for him to be able to play more minutes for us and to be a more consistent scoring option and scoring threat and to continue his excellent perimeter defense.”
IN HIS OWN WORDS: WHAT WENT RIGHT LAST SEASON
“Just hitting open shots. That was pretty much what I did. I tried to play off the other players a little bit.”
IMPROVEMENTS FOR 2010-11
“I want to be a little bit more of a playmaker. That’s about it. Nothing too out of the ordinary. There were a lot of opportunities where I could’ve made plays for myself or my teammates and I just didn’t do it last year. This year I fully expect to do that.”
“I just want to get better. I want to improve. I want to play the game with a little more aggression, a little more confidence. That’s about it, try to get to an even higher level of a defender.”
MOST TWEETABLE STAT
.434 Three-point percentage, which ranked 8th in the NBA.