DENVER, CO - MARCH 20: Markus Howard #00 of the Denver Nuggets runs up the court against the Boston Celtics at Ball Arena on March 20, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Mito/Clarkson Creative/Getty Images)

Nuggets 2021-22 Player Reviews: Markus Howard

Writer and Digital Content Specialist

In his second season with the Denver Nuggets on a two-way contract, Markus Howard showed significant signs of improvement. In Year 2, Howard became a more efficient scorer and showed increased strength on the defensive end.

As is the case with many NBA two-way contracts, his opportunities for playing time with the Nuggets were limited. However, he certainly made the most of his opportunity both as a player, and as a figure within the locker room.

Howard can look ahead to his third NBA season knowing that he has built a foundation of success with his noticeable leap from his rookie to his sophomore campaign. All an undrafted player can show is their work ethic and willingness to improve, as there is no doubt that Howard displayed that.

Howard's Season Timeline

For a player who appeared in just 31 games, having two 20-point performances shows the exact type of roll that Howard can get on with the right opportunity. In fact, Howard's first outing with over 20 minutes played was a gem.

In the Nuggets' 26th game of the year -- and Howard's 14th appearance -- he finished with 21 minutes played. In that time, he scored 21 points on 6-for-12 from beyond the three-point line. 21 points in 21 minutes on 15 total shots is remarkable efficiency, let alone the fact that it came in a winning effort against the San Antonio Spurs.

Just two games later, he scored 14 points in 16 minutes of play, going 4-of-9 from three-point range against the eventual playoff-bound Minnesota Timberwolves.

But Howard saved his best performance of the season for last. With the Nuggets having their spot in the postseason locked up, they took the opportunity to give younger players like Howard a significant workload against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Howard took that chance in stride, playing 24 minutes, scoring 25 points on 8-for-17 from the field in the process.

As a two-way player, Howard was ineligible to play in the postseason, meaning he did not get a chance to see his first Playoff minutes. But his time with the Nuggets has shown the value of learning within a winning organization.

Facts and Figures

From Year 1 to Year 2, Howard saw his points per game, and nearly all of his shooting splits, improve. He went from a 27.7% three point shooter in 2020-21 to 40.0% in 2021-22. His effective field goal percentage went from 46.2% to 52.5%.

Howard's true shooting percentage jumped nine points, from 47.7% to 56.7%. He ranked above league-average in a majority of the NBA's main shooting categories.

Across the board, Howard became a more efficient player, and built up a to-do list of ways he can capitalize on this improvement in the offseason.