Daily Nugget: Denver’s “bullpen” at the forward spots
“I feel like we have a bullpen. If I need to bring in a defender, I call the bullpen and bring in Torrey Craig. If we need shooting or an offensive spark, you can go to Juancho or Michael Porter. It’s definitely a luxury.”
Those were the comments from Nuggets head coach Michael Malone following Denver’s 105-95 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. Malone was asked about the team’s depth at the forward positions, which was one of the key storylines heading into training camp and the season.
So far, things have played out just as Malone described them, with his use of each player likening that of baseball managers selecting relief pitchers from the bullpen depending on the matchup.
In recent games, Malone has gone to Juancho Hernangomez off the bench for his rebounding and offensive prowess, as he is a capable 3-point shooter that makes timely cuts toward the basket when he doesn’t have the ball.
However, Craig received 19 minutes of action against Houston as a result of his length and ability to guard multiple positions. Craig finished with three blocks and two steals on Wednesday, while he held James Harden and Russell Westbrook to a combined 1-of-10 shooting from the field.
As the season progresses, Malone will likely continue to tinker with his forward bullpen, as each player brings a different skill set to the table that will be better suited for certain matchups. It certainly is a luxury for Malone and the Nuggets.