ESPN’s Zach Lowe praises Paul Millsap’s two-way play

by Eric Spyropoulos
Staff Writer

Those that have followed the Denver Nuggets closely this season have understood Paul Millsap’s value on both ends of the floor. The four-time All-Star may be averaging fewer minutes per game, but his production is higher than it has been in recent years.

Millsap currently owns averages of 13.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game in 26.5 minutes per contest. While those numbers don’t jump off the page, the 34-year-old’s efficiency and advanced metrics paint an even rosier picture.

Millsap has connected on 50 percent of his 3-point attempts this season (of which he is averaging 2.6 per game) and his 62.6 true shooting percentage would easily be the best of his career. Millsap also leads Denver in Win Shares and Win Shares per 48 minutes through the team’s first 13 games.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe took some time in his weekly “Ten NBA things I like and don’t like” column to highlight Millsap’s impressive start to the season. In a section titled “The quiet greatness of Paul Millsap”, Lowe praised Millsap’s ability to do exactly what the Nuggets need of him on both ends of the floor:

“It sounds weird to say about a four-time All-Star, but Millsap might be the most underappreciated really good player of the past 10 years. He does whatever Denver needs in the moment. He senses when the Nuggets could use a jolt of energy and finds a way to provide it: bumping three dudes out of the way for an offensive rebound; prying the rock from some enemy ball handler; revving up the offense with an extra pass or an impromptu bone-crunching screen in semi-transition.”

Millsap has showcased his postgame regularly during the beginning weeks of the season, especially as teams continued to throw out smaller lineups. Lowe pointed out how devastating Millsap has been in those instances:

“I tap my fingers together like Mr. Burns when any Denver opponent downsizes and puts a wing or small-ball power forward on Millsap. He goes into old-school beast mode. He just bulldozes those suckers. He does not stop until the other team relents and reinserts a traditional big man to guard him. Denver has scored 1.15 points per possession anytime Millsap shoots from the post or kicks to someone who fires right away -- one of the best marks in the league, per Second Spectrum.”

To read the rest of Lowe’s section on Millsap and his column, click here.


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