Denver Nuggets 2021 Training Camp Notebook: Day 5

by Eric Spyropoulos
Staff Writer
@EricSpyroNBA

SAN DIEGO – The final day of training camp at the University of California San Diego was an opportunity for final preparations and review before the Denver Nuggets’ first preseason game against the LA Clippers in two days.

After Friday’s scrimmage, the team reviewed film to begin practice before going over offensive and defensive base schemes and coverages. Following practice, Bol Bol and Head Coach Michael Malone spoke to the media.

Here are three takeaways as we wrap up our 2021 Training Camp Notebook here on Nuggets.com.

Bol hopes to earn a consistent role

One of the topics of conversation throughout camp has been the play and mental approach of Bol throughout the week in San Diego.

Now entering his third year in the league, Bol’s approach to the game has shifted as he looks to earn a role in the rotation this season. Teammates have been in Bol’s ear throughout camp, and the 21-year-old is soaking all that knowledge and advice in as he prepares for the season.

Following Friday’s practice, JaMychal Green revealed that he has been consistently talking to Bol and feeding him advice, which the third-year big man has appreciated.

“Everything he's telling me is just to benefit me and help me, and he just keeps pushing me every single day,” Bol said Saturday. “But I love how he does it because he just gets straight to the point, like (there’s) no sugarcoating.”

As the preseason begins and the regular season approaches, Bol maintains one goal heading into the 2021-22 campaign.

“(The goal) is obviously to get more court time to be able to help the team, because I know I can. It’s just up to me to maintain what I’ve been doing (at camp).”

Generating healthy 3-point attempts

One of the focuses for the Nuggets on the offensive end this season is continuing to increase the number of 3-point attempts per game. Of course, this isn’t just a way for players to jack up 3-pointer after 3-pointer, but rather a concerted effort to generate quality attempts within the flow of the offense, especially from the corners.

Denver focused on this priority during Saturday’s practice, running through plays and drills that emphasized finding the corner shooter, especially off the short roll when running a pick-and-roll set.

“We got a lot of threes up, but it’s about making sure we're generating the right threes off of ball movement and off of the ball touching the paint,” Malone said Friday following the team’s scrimmage.

Denver finished in the top 10 in 3-point percentage as a team last season (37.7 percent), so continuing to emphasize quality 3-point attempts should only help the offense throughout the season.

Expectations for the first preseason game

As mentioned earlier, Saturday was the final practice day before the Nuggets will head to LA to take on the Clippers Monday night.

As expected, Nikola Jokić will not play in Monday’s preseason opener, but Malone is still focused on using the preseason games as valuable opportunities to get better ahead of the regular season.

“Get better,” Malone said Saturday when asked about expectations for the first game. “Preseason games are never about wins and losses, but every time we go on that floor, it’s an opportunity for us to establish our identity.”

Malone didn’t reveal a starting lineup or expected playing time but emphasized the desire to provide opportunities for everyone. Regardless of who is out there on the floor Monday night, the goal for Malone and the squad remains the same.

“These five preseason games that we have are all part of training camp,” Malone said. “Everything leading up to the 20th of October is a part of training camp. And our first goal as an organization is to find a way to improve every single day.”

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