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Nuggets Notes: Inside Torrey Craig's Whirlwind Day
The call came late on Thursday night. Torrey Craig would be transferred from his G League assignment to the Nuggets. Craig needed transportation to the airport. He ordered an Uber. At midnight. In Oshkosh, Wisconsin (pop: 64,579).
He checked in at the airport at 4:30 a.m. The plane arrived in Denver around 7 a.m. and Craig came straight to the arena. He participated in shootaround, and was told he would be starting the game.
He napped for two hours in the afternoon, and arrived back at the Pepsi Center for the game. So, after a four-hour flight and minimal sleep, Craig was tossed right in the starting lineup and, in the fourth quarter, had to come up with the game’s most critical stop – a blocked shot that sent the game into overtime.
Asked about his nerves going into the game, Craig shook it off.
“You get anxious,” he said “You get excited, but not really nervous. So I felt like I was well-prepared and I was ready to play.”
Craig, who is on a two-way contract, had already earned the trust of Nuggets coach Michael Malone, who didn’t hesitate to put him out there and made it sound like it was his easiest decision of the day.
“For me it was,” Malone said. “I believe in him. I said it in Boulder (at training camp), I said it right now, not because of the game he had but because I’ve seen it. I saw it in summer league. I saw it in Atlanta with our mini-camp. I saw it in our gym all through September. Torrey Craig is an NBA player. I’ve been in the league a long time. My thinking on it was really simple…45 days (with the NBA team), throw him out there. Let’s see if he is what I think he is. And he is.”
Jokić’s ankle: Nuggets center Nikola Jokić returned to action on Friday after missing seven games with a sprained ankle. He played 22 minutes in the contest and, while he did say the ankle was “sore,” he didn’t experience any setbacks.
“I think it’s normal,” Jokić said. “After a couple of motions, a couple of movements, I kind of felt it. That’s no big deal. That’s a normal thing.”
Extras: Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay said, “I’ll be alright,” when asked about a sprained ankle that did not allow him to play in the second half. … The Nuggets will take Saturday off, then resume practicing on Sunday in advance of their game at Oklahoma City on Monday night.
Christopher Dempsey: email@example.com and @chrisadempsey on Twitter