Starting, Rotations Decisions Still to Be Determined

by Christopher Dempsey
Nuggets Insider

On Friday, Nuggets coach Michael Malone said he’ll hold off on making permanent rotation decisions until a later date.

“As we all know, this is a very deep and talented roster,” Malone said. “We have a lot of guys playing at a high level. So, we met as a staff this morning, talking about the Lakers game, talking about our team – where we are, and…the rotation. You felt one way going into camp; things change. After three games, I still have an idea of who we will start, but as far as who we play off the bench it’s going to be interesting to see how these last two games play out. We’ll let them play out before we make any final decisions.”

At issue are starting point guard, which is expected to be down to Jamal Murray and Emmanuel Mudiay because Jameer Nelson missed about a week with a toe injury.

“Both Jamal and Emmanuel have had very good stretches,” Malone said. “The turnovers have to come down…Emmanuel’s and Jamal’s.”

At reserve power forward, the battle is between Kenneth Faried and Trey Lyles. Both players have played well.

“That, to me is an outstanding situation to look at, because you can make great arguments for both of those guys,” Malone said. “Kenneth has been so efficient – his rebounding, his finishing, his shooting, his free throws, his running, his motor. And then you have a completely different type of player in Trey Lyles, who is more perimeter, maybe more skilled, more of a play maker. Some of the passes and plays he’s made playing with Mason Plumlee have been remarkable.”

Malone’s team overview. The Nuggets are 3-0 in the preseason, winning all three games on the road. Nuggets coach Michael Malone has been happy about that, and he gave his thoughts about the state of team with about two weeks until the start of the season.

“We’re doing a lot of good things,” Malone said. “The reality is yes, we are 3-0, but there is a lot of room for improvement and for growth. The turnovers, from an offensive standpoint, are probably the biggest area of concern. Part of that comes from playing with pace, but we have to just do a better job of valuing the basketball. But I love the pace we’re playing at, the unselfishness we’re showing. And like we did last year, we can score with anybody.”

Nelson’s return. Point guard Jameer Nelson returned from a toe injury to play in the Nuggets’ third preseason game, against the L.A. Lakers in Ontario, Calif. Nuggets coach Michael Malone liked what he saw. Nelson had two points and six assists in 18 minutes.

“I thought Jameer looked solid,” Malone said. “Obviously, it was his first game. So, I wasn’t expecting him to go out there and light the world on fire. You know what you get with Jameer – he’s a veteran, he’s steady.”

Christopher Dempsey: and @chrisadempsey on Twitter.