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Nuggets Notes: Harris Makes Solid Impression in Debut
PHOENIX – Nuggets coach Michael Malone scanned box score on Saturday night and highlighted the plus-minus category when elaborating on the night he thought the newest Nugget, Devin Harris, had.
“I thought Devin Harris, great acquisition, a plus-17 in 22 minutes, I thought he was a steady force for us as well,” Malone said after his team’s 123-113 victory over Phoenix.
Harris wasn’t as bullish on his first time out with his new team, but was happy the Nuggets got the victory. He played 22 minutes and scored nine points on 3-of-7 shooting with two rebounds and two steals.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Harris said. “But I came ready to play, and just glad we got the win.”
Harris joined the team on Saturday morning in time for the Nuggets’ walkthrough at the hotel. Then, it was a cram session trying to learn the most vital aspects of the Nuggets offense that would allow him to be successful in his first action with them.
“A lot of the stuff we do is similar,” Harris said. “It’s just different terminology.”
Asked what parts of his game mesh well with what the Nuggets try to accomplish, Harris focused on versatility.
“A lot of guys play one and two and are interchangeable,” Harris said. “I think I fit right into that. I don’t necessarily need the ball to play. I can play off the ball. They get up and down the floor, which I am happy to do. … I’m not as fast as I used to be, but I used my speed when I need it. It’s always in my back pocket.”
After having seen him in a Nuggets uniform for the first time, Malone was pleased.
“Poise,” Malone said. “He’s never in a rush. He doesn’t get out of control. He’s got a great change of speed, quickness to get to the basket. And I trust him to make the right play. Obviously, this was not one of Jamal Murray’s greater games, but that’s why it’s great at the trade deadline to get a guy like Devin Harris, who has been in big games, who knows what a playoff push is all about.
“I thought he goes out there and – didn’t do anything spectacular – but he ran his team, played good defense and made the right play. So, it was a good night.”
BARTON’S ANKLE: Will Barton twisted his right ankle during the second half of Saturday night’s game. He left briefly and then returned. Afterward, he said the ankle “hurts, but I’ll be fine.”
Christopher Dempsey: email@example.com and @chrisadempsey on Twitter