Denver Nuggets: 3 Expectations for Will Barton

Denver Nuggets (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
Denver Nuggets (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /
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Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Will Barton is critical to Denver’s defensive identity.

One of the places Barton can make an immediate impact is to expand his defensive presence.  The man he is replacing at small forward may have disappointed us with injury during his tenure.  We may point  at 40 minutes in Minnesota in last season’s finale with zero points.  What nobody questions for the bulk of Wilson Chandler time in Denver is his defensive ability at the small forward.

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This is the facet of Barton’s game that he must get more disciplined with.  He won’t be able to defend like Chandler and the Nuggets have made no secret that they are looking to be a busy, three-defending type of team, a scheme that should favor Barton’s style.

Will is quick and has great anticipation.  His speed will be difficult for larger forwards to deal with and his wingspan will help corral speedy two-guards.  He’s the perfect hybrid guard-forward for Denver’s starting lineup, the wildcard, shoot-from-the-hip performer that never minds the pressure.

If he can add some defensive chops, Barton will be the complete player and leader that justified that contract extension.