We Love the (Nuggets) 80s: Danny Schayes

by Christopher Dempsey
Nuggets Insider
@chrisadempsey

On Dec. 18, 2014, the basketball website SheridanHoops.com published as thorough an analysis of the college one-and-done rule as has ever been written. It came from the mind of Danny Schayes.

Brilliance was never a surprise coming from Schayes. He displayed it on a nightly basis in seven-and-a-half seasons as a center with the Nuggets from 1983-89. Schayes’ ability to step out and hit jump shots from that position was before its time. Now, it’s a requirement of the center position. Then, centers were expected to be rooted to the block.

Schayes, son of Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes, found ways to be effective from the block to the perimeter at a time when it wasn’t as celebrated.

And he was a career 80 percent free throw shooter.

In fact, Schayes still holds the Nuggets’ record for consecutive free throw makes in a game without a miss, going 18-for-18 as part of a 32-point effort in a 132-125 Nuggets win over the Houston Rockets on April 15, 1988 at McNichols Arena.

It was one game in a memorable season for Schayes. In 1987-88, Schayes averaged career highs in points (13.8), rebounds (8.2) and field goal percentage (54 percent) as the starting center for the Nuggets. And he was efficient, getting to those averages in just 26.7 minutes per game.

Those numbers got even better in the playoffs that season. Schayes averaged 16.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and shot 64 percent from the field to help the Nuggets advance to the Western Conference semifinals.

Schayes, taken by Utah with the 13th pick overall in the 1981 NBA Draft, is seventh on the Nuggets all-time games played list, suiting up 536 times in a Nuggets uniform. He’s ninth in team history in blocks (470), 10th in offensive rebounds (989) and ninth in field goal percentage (51.1 percent).

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