Denver Nuggets Orlando Bubble Practice Day 10: Three Takeaways
In just about 24 hours, the Denver Nuggets will take the next step in the process of resuming the 2019-20 season.
After a little less than two weeks full of practices in the bubble, Denver will take on the Washington Wizards in their first of three scrimmage games over the next week.
For Denver, this provides a chance for players to face real competition, different schemes and continue to build up the on-court chemistry.
Following Tuesday’s practice, Nikola Jokić and Troy Daniels spoke to the media. Here are three key takeaways from today’s session.
Jokić looking forward to scrimmages
Despite only joining the team last week, Jokić is ready for whatever comes his way during the upcoming scrimmages. Although head coach Michael Malone has previously said that he will not look to overwork any of his players in the upcoming game, Jokić is looking forward to the opportunities to continue to improve.
“We need to use these games as a team and ourselves to prepare for the main thing,” Jokić said Tuesday. “I don’t know how much I’m going to play, but I want to play some live basketball and get some runs.”
With only nine healthy bodies available for Wednesday’s scrimmage, it remains to be seen how the minutes will be distributed at each position. However, Denver’s frontcourt has plenty of depth with Jokić, Paul Millsap, Jerami Grant, Tyler Cook and Bol Bol available against Washington.
Regardless, the upcoming scrimmages should help Jokić continue to reintegrate with the team and allow other players to receive more opportunities to showcase their skills.
Daniels: “I always have something to prove”
Troy Daniels has played for seven teams since he made his NBA debut during the 2013-14 season. Despite being undrafted and undervalued, the veteran guard has built out a career that includes 334 games played over those seven years.
However, Daniels continues to approach each day with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. The recent practices and upcoming scrimmage games provide the 29-year-old with a great opportunity to help the team and showcase his skills.
“I always have something to prove each time I step on the court,” Daniels said Tuesday. “I’m going on year seven undrafted, so I’m always overlooked.”
Daniels is aware of the opportunity he has in Orlando given the lack of healthy bodies in the bubble for the Nuggets and the need for more floor spacing and 3-point shooting.
“This training camp has catapulted me into probably getting some major minutes, which is good for me and also for the team because I feel that they need a shooter and vet presence on the team,” Daniels said. “Hopefully I can get out there and help the team in the best way I can.”
Denver’s players continue to focus on the fight for social justice
As Michael Malone and several other players have expressed in recent weeks, just because the games will be resuming in the near future, it doesn’t mean that the conversation of focus should shift from the continued push for social and racial justice.
“We have this platform right now that we have to continue the fight and the movement, and I think that’s what we’re doing,” Daniels said Tuesday.
Daniels pointed to Jerami Grant’s media availability last week in which Grant answered each question with a reference to Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot in her own home in Louisville on March 13.
Daniels also mentioned that there have been some Zoom calls with players discussing how they can best use the platform that they have with the season resuming in Orlando. What’s clear is that whatever happens on the court in the coming months, the Nuggets will not be silent off the court as they continue to push for equality and justice.