Nuggets Notes: Craig Gets Back to Practice

by Christopher Dempsey
Nuggets Insider
@chrisadempsey

PHILADELPHIA – Asked to think back, Torrey Craig couldn’t remember the last time he actually practiced.

Between a packed NBA schedule that robbed the Nuggets of practice time as a team, Craig bouncing back and forth between the Nuggets and the G-League, and him missing a few weeks of basketball due to an injury, this day had been a long time coming.

And it left Craig wanting more.

The Nuggets ran through their schemes, offensively and defensively, but did not have a full-contact practice on Sunday. There wasn’t any scrimmaging, either, which is what Craig longed for.

“It was good,” Craig said. “But it still wasn’t a legit practice where we go up-and-down and do live game situations. It’s good to slow it down and do some breakdown stuff, but then again, still need the live situation. But it was good to finally do some breakdown stuff with the team.”

Craig has played a key role in each of the Nuggets’ last two victories, and coach Michael Malone has put him on the court more and more. Craig logged nearly 19 minutes of action in games at Chicago and Washington. In four games overall since he’s been back with the team, Craig is averaging 8.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and is shooting 59.1 percent from the field overall and 66.7 percent from the 3-point line.

“What sticks out to me about Torrey is even in the Washington game, even if he’s not sure of everything we’re doing, he does everything with energy and effort,” Malone said. “I think he’s been an impactful player for us the last three or four games since he’s been back with us.”

Craig had 11 points in the Nuggets win over the Wizards on Friday night.

“Torrey is a heckuva player,” Malone said. “I’m just so impressed with his ability to play at the level he’s playing at, on the stage that he’s on. These are big games. And he’s just out there hoopin’, which I love.

Gary Harris Update: Gary Harris did not practice on Sunday as he continues to recover from a right knee injury. Nuggets coach Michael Malone said that the earliest Harris could return would be on Friday at Oklahoma City. Malone did say, however, that Harris is moving around much better.

Malone on practice: It took nine days, but the Nuggets got their first practice of the road trip in on Sunday at Temple University.

“It was really good to have practice,” Malone said. “We haven’t had it in so long. With the off days that we’ve had (in Philadelphia) I felt it was important to get into the gym and just kind of sweat, get up and down. I didn’t want to have two days of not doing anything going into a back-to-back.”

Christopher Dempsey: christopher.dempsey@altitude.tv and @chrisadempsey on Twitter

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