November Budweiser Nugget of the Month: Will Barton III
Will Barton III promised he would be a bad man this season and in November that was certainly the case. The 28-year-old averaged 15.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and shot a searing 42.6 percent from downtown. Barton III’s efforts weren’t unnoticed by Nuggets fans as he was voted the Budweiser Nugget of the Month.
Coming off an injury-plagued 2018-19 campaign, Barton III vowed to return to his best this campaign and he is enjoying arguably his most impactful season in Denver so far. He is currently third in the NBA in plus/minus (9.7), just under reigning league MVP Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Toronto’s Pascal Siakam, showing just how valuable he’s been in the early part of the season.
Barton III’s most significant impact has been on the boards – an area he’s vastly improved upon. The veteran small forward is currently second on the Nuggets in rebounds per game, collecting 7.3 a night. That’s a dramatic jump for the small forward, who has never previously averaged more than 5.8 rebounds per game and is averaging 4.0 for his career.
Barton III has also made strides on offense as well. His effectiveness from behind the arc has kept defenses honest this season and allows the Nuggets to space the floor. He had a season-high 22 points against the Suns in a Nov. 24 win for the Nuggets, adding eight rebounds, four assists and hitting 4-of-7 from downtown. After the game, several of Barton III’s teammates praised his efforts as one of the catalysts of Denver’s strong start to the season.
“Thrill has been huge on both ends,” Gary Harris said about Barton III after the game. “He’s been locked in defensively, offensively he’s had it going. He’s been playing great. He’s been playing almost the best on the team. You know, we thrive off of his energy. When he plays like that, and all of our guys are clicking, we’re a difficult team to stop.”
“Will has been spectacular so far this year and he’s brought that energy every game,” Mason Plumlee added.
Nugget of the Month sounds just about right for Thrill.