Denver Nuggets player reviews: Arron Afflalo

by Aaron Lopez

With the 2011-12 season in the books, is taking a closer at the team’s primary rotation players and how they fared during a challenging 66-game schedule. Denver assistant coach Chad Iske was kind enough to provide candid assessments, which reflect the views of the Nuggets coaching staff as a whole.

Today’s featured player is shooting guard Arron Afflalo, who overcame a sluggish start to average a career-high 15.2 points in his fifth NBA season. He was the team’s most reliable three-point shooter, hitting .398 of his shots from behind the arc.

Afflalo, who signed a multiyear contract during training camp, found his stride over the final three months of the season, averaging 18 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists. He also shot .495 from the field and .417 from three-point range.

“I look at myself as a player that tries to do whatever the team needs,” Afflalo said. “Consistency is something that’s big for me.”

With the Nugget trailing by three points against the Sacramento Kings, Afflalo was fouled on a three-point attempt and went to the line with 0.6 seconds remaining. He calmly made all three free throws. He finished with a career-high 32 points as Denver went on to win 119-116 in overtime.

Chad Iske’s 2011-12 Evaluation
“One of Arron’s biggest strengths that goes unnoticed is there’s a consistency there that falls under the radar. It was tough early on for him because he came in late and had to deal with contract stuff and get in the playing shape that he wanted. He still ends up shooting close to 40 percent from three and a decent percentage form the field and the free throw line. He continued to show why the organization gave him the new contract and wanted him to be around. You can count on him every night.”

Summer Improvements
“Every year, we want him to improve his ball handling and one-on-one ability but continue to shoot the ball at a high rate. You can’t let the shooting slip in order to improve other areas. He’s been very big for us in the last three years making open shots.”

Two Words That Best Describe Afflalo
"Never satisfied”

Stat That Bears Re-Tweeting
Afflalo scored at least 20 points in three consecutive games on two occasions last season. In his first four NBA seasons, he had never scored 20-plus points in back-to-back games.