Nuggets 2017-18 Player Preview: Paul Millsap
Last Season: As the starting power forward for the Atlanta Hawks, Millsap averaged 18.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game on his way to earning a fourth-consecutive All-Star nod. Millsap shot 44.2 percent from the field, 31.1 percent from the 3-point line, and 76.8 percent from the free throw line. The Hawks advanced to the playoffs, eventually losing to Washington in six games, but Millsap was stellar in the series with averages of 24.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.7 steals. He shot 50.5 percent from the field and 81.1 percent from the 3-point line in those six games.
2017-18 Outlook: Millsap traded conferences in the offseason, coming to the Nuggets – and the Western Conference – as the team’s high-profile free agent signing in July. The expectation is the veteran, going into his 12th season, will pick right up where he left off in Atlanta with reliable, high-level production on offense and the ability to be the anchor on defense as the starting power forward for the Nuggets.
That said, training camp and the preseason are going to be critical for Millsap to start to gain some chemistry with his new teammates, in particular center Nikola Jokic. Both players figure to have heavy scoring and decision-making responsibilities in this Nuggets’ offense. Outside of taking care of getting he and his family moved to the Mile High City this summer, Millsap has lived in the gym and is said to be in great shape for the upcoming training camp and preseason.
Bold Prediction: Millsap will average career highs in points, assists and field goal percentage in the Nuggets’ high-octane offense and will make the All-Star team in a loaded Western Conference.