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Nuggets Notes: Devin Harris Back in Dallas to Face Former Team
DALLAS – On Monday, Nuggets guard Devin Harris got to do something he hasn’t done in a month: See his kids. He was on his way to pick them up from school after practice when he stopped briefly to chat about being back in Dallas, where he and the Nuggets will face his former team, the Mavericks, on Tuesday.
“Probably the best part is being able spend time with the kids,” Harris said. “But we came here to get a win.”
Harris was traded from the Mavericks to the Nuggets last month. In eight games, he’s averaging 6.0 points and 2.0 assists in an average of 17.0 minutes per game.
“I’m getting the plays down,” Harris said. “Obviously, the rotations have changed a little bit with Paul (Millsap) coming back. I think we’re all adjusting to that. Continuing to get a rhythm with these guys.”
Harris has played both on and off the ball in his time on the court.
“It’s not easy,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “I talked to him after the (L.A.) Clippers game (on Feb. 27), and he was frustrated. He was frustrated with how he’s playing. I said ‘Devin, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re traded to a team that’s playing at a high level, and all of a sudden there’s 24 games to go and you’re asked to just fit in.’ That’s like Paul Millsap coming back, it’s so hard this time of the year.
“We had a great conversation, just talked about more specifically what I want and need from Devin. Forget the play calls, what do I want from you? I need you to play with great pace. Jamal (Murray) is our starter and you’re backing him up. You’re going to play 14, 16 minutes a night, go out there and play with great pace offensively. Attack. He kicked our butt every time he was an attack guard, got to the paint, made plays, put pressure on the defense. And then defensively, pick up…be a pest on defense.”
Malone said he’s seeing Harris settle in nicely.
“I thought the last couple of games you can see (Harris is) more comfortable, more confident in what he’s doing and what’s expected of him,” Malone said. “And I think the more he plays he’s just going to get that much more comfortable for us.”
NO SECRETS: Devin Harris may have some insight as to what the Mavericks will do on the court, having just come to the Nuggets from Dallas in February. But Tuesday’s game between the two teams is the fourth this season, and that, says, Nuggets coach Michael Malone breeds a lot of familiarity.
“We know them, they know us,” Malone said. “There’s no secrets at this stage. Now, it’s just a matter of going out there and finishing off a very productive road trip with another win.”
LYLES TO PLAY AT DALLAS: Trey Lyles did not see the court in the Nuggets win at Cleveland on Saturday night, but that is not a sign of things to come, coach Michael Malone said. Lyles will be back on the court against the Mavericks.
“Matchups. And I talked to him right after the game – there’s nothing to look into here, Trey. When Jeff Green was ruled out, that was kind of Trey’s matchup. And (Cleveland) played so much small ball. I just felt it was not a great matchup for Trey for us in that game. But he’ll be back playing tomorrow night. Trey is not only a big part of what we’re doing now, but more importantly, in our future Trey is going to be a big part of what we’re doing.”
Christopher Dempsey: firstname.lastname@example.org and @chrisadempsey on Twitter