Budweiser Nugget of the Month: November Nominees

by Eric Spyropoulos
Staff Writer
@Eric_Spyros

The Denver Nuggets have jumped out to an impressive 13-4 start this season, fueled by a 10-2 record in the month of November. The team has used a top-ranked defense to fuel their success, while it has been a balanced attack on the offensive end. Here are the nominees for Budweiser Nugget of the Month for November.

Nikola Jokić

Jokić continues to be the driving force of Denver’s offense. With averages of 15.6 points, 10.4 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game, the Serbian big man has been a difficult matchup for most opponents this season.

Jokić leads the team in the majority of offensive advanced metrics and Denver’s offense has been 7.9 points per 100 possessions better with their All-star big man on the floor this season. Despite some struggles from beyond the arc, Jokić’s ability to score from all areas of the floor combined with his elite playmaking abilities continue to cause nightmares for opposing defenses.

Paul Millsap

The talk coming into the 2019-20 season was that Millsap was going to play a little less during the regular season as Jerami Grant joined the frontcourt. And while that has been true (Millsap is averaging 26.1 minutes per game), one could make the case that the four-time All-Star has been Denver’s most productive player this season.

Millsap leads the team 3-point percentage (48.8 percent) and in the majority of advanced metrics, including true shooting percentage, Win Shares and Win Shares per 48 minutes. Furthermore, Millsap’s +23.6 net rating is tops on the team through the first 17 games of the season. Despite a slight reduction in playing time, Millsap has been even more productive this season.

Jamal Murray

Denver’s leading scorer has come up clutch throughout the early stages of the 2019-20 season. In his fourth season, Murray is averaging career highs in scoring (18.5 points per game), steals (1.6 per game), rebounds (4.6 per game) and assists (4.9 per game). The 22-year-old’s +17.7 net rating ranks third on the team, while he has also played the most minutes of anyone on the Nuggets this season.

Murray’s 37 points in clutch situations (defined as the score being within five points with less than five minutes remaining) rank seventh in the league and has helped Denver get off to an 8-3 start in such situations.

Will Barton III

After an injury-riddled 2018-19 season, Barton III has impressed out of the gates this year. Denver’s veteran forward is contributing across the board and on both ends of the floor with averages of 15.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.

Barton III has also connected on 42.6 percent of his 3-point attempts and owns the second-best net rating (+21.8) on the team. Denver’s defense is 13.1 points per 100 possessions better when Barton III has been on the floor this season. A healthy Barton III makes Denver a more dynamic team on both ends of the floor, which is exactly what has played out to begin the 2019-20 season.

To vote on the Nugget of the Month for November, click here.

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