An infusion is on the way.
Will Barton, in the first two games, showed us why the Denver Nuggets brass chose to retain the veteran’s services in the offseason. He was a steadying offensive force and an in-control defensive presence. It was Barton, matured.
We’ve seen Thrill on the machines working on his hip. We’ve seen him on the sidelines, desperate for the camaraderie that the Nuggets share. Pretty soon, we’ll see him back on the court. Denver fans seem to forget how good Barton can be and how important his scoring ability is to the Nugs starting five.
At least players like Malik Beasley, Juancho and Craig have gotten valuable minutes in Barton’s absence and the team is 7-4 without one of it’s most important players.
There’s another return on the horizon, though, one that has a boom-or-bust possibility that has little downside for the Nuggets. Isaiah Thomas has recently been a legitimate 30-point 10-assist player in this league. For a top-tier team, deep in the playoffs. Thomas already has put some of his stamp on the Nuggets with his presence and leadership, we’re not sure if Denver is ready for what he can bring on the floor.
With all due respect to MPJ and Jarred Vanderbilt, Thomas’ debut with the Nuggets is set to be the biggest debut for Denver this year.
The Nuggets have endured early-season scoring woes, injuries and redefined roles and they’ve surged to a 9-4 record. Three of those losses are by a combined 11-points and took the unlikely heroics of Brook Lopez and a stellar performance from rising star Caris LeVert (get well soon, man, we enjoy watching you play).
The Nuggets are fine and are still on-track for the season we expected.