What Nah'Shon "Bones" Hyland adds to the Denver Nuggets

by Eric Spyropoulos
Staff Writer
@EricSpyrosNBA

After weeks of preparation, mock drafts, and workouts, the 2021 NBA Draft has come and gone as the Denver Nuggets added another exciting young guard to the mix in Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland.

Hyland joins Mile High Basketball following two seasons at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he showcased his 3-point shooting and natural scoring abilities.

In the 2020-21 season, Hyland averaged 19.5 points per game, which included 37.1 percent shooting on 7.8 3-point attempts per game. Throughout his 55 collegiate games, the 20-year-old connected on 39.9 percent from beyond the arc, with many of those attempts being off-the-dribble and from well behind the 3-point line.

With that being said, what exactly should Nuggets Nation expect from Hyland as he joins Denver? Let’s take a closer look.

3-point shooting

Perhaps Hyland’s most NBA-ready skill at the moment is his shooting, which should be music to Nuggets fans’ ears. As mentioned above, Hyland hit 40 percent of his total 3-point attempts at VCU, which ended up being 331 attempts. For a player who finished his collegiate career with a 58 percent 3-point attempt rate, there’s a unique combination of volume and accuracy from the 6-foot-3 guard.

It’s no surprise to learn that Hyland’s catchphrase is “Tressi”, which is an ode to his favorite shot- the 3-pointer (it’s also a combination of Tres (three in Spanish) and Sí). Hyland isn’t shy about expressing himself and his game on and off the court.

Looking more specifically at Hyland’s offensive game, shooting off the dribble is a key skill in his arsenal. The Wilmington, DE native enjoys creating space with step-backs, which often led to some deep attempts from beyond the arc.

For a Nuggets team that can benefit from additional shot creation, Hyland certainly fits the bill with his ability to create space and knock down shots from all areas of the floor.

The 20-year-old will also help Denver put pressure on opposing defenses in the pick-and-roll, as his ability to hit pull-up 3-pointers should prevent teams from going under when defending the pick-and-roll, which can open up additional passing lanes.

But Hyland doesn’t just shoot off-the-dribble. The combo guard has showcased the ability to relocate and hit catch-and-shoot threes, a key skill in the NBA, especially when playing off of Nikola Jokić and Jamal Murray.

When watching Hyland, another aspect of his 3-point shooting that stands out is the range. The former VCU Ram certainly doesn’t lack in confidence, regularly attempting deep 3-point attempts. In time, that could unlock another element to Denver’s offense that doesn’t currently exist.

Finishing inside the paint

However, Hyland isn’t just a one-dimensional offensive player. The 26th overall pick shot 53.9 percent on 2-pointers during the 2020-21 campaign, which included 55.4 percent at the rim in the half-court.

Hyland complements his 3-point shooting with a reliable mid-range game and effective floater to vary his shot attempts and score from all three levels of the floor.

Hyland’s drives are built on crafty moves, shifting speeds, and hesitation, allowing him to use his long frame to avoid defenders inside the arc or in transition. Plus, with his threat to hit from deep, Hyland can leverage that into easier drives to the rim.

Of course, in joining the Nuggets, Hyland will certainly look to continue to use his 3-point shooting as a threat to open up cuts to the basket, a key staple for off-ball players in Denver’s offense.

While his 3-point shooting will fuel a good portion of his contributions on the offensive end, don’t sleep on Hyland’s ability to score inside the arc and use his shooting threat to leverage off-ball scoring opportunities in the Mile High City.

Ultimately, Denver was able to add a dynamic shooter and offensive player towards the end of the first round. In today’s NBA, where offense is king and the 3-pointer is a main focus for many offenses, the Nuggets have to feel good that they were able to add depth to the backcourt and diversify their offensive attack for years to come with the addition of Bones Hyland.

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