Coach Malone needs to get more production out of/use his bench more.
We complained a lot about last year’s bench antics, calling Michael Malone out for his unwillingness to use several bench players. As time went on, we came to understand where the Nuggets vision was taking this team and why some players just didn’t work.
This season there is no such dead weight on the Nuggets bench. From the second five consisting of Monte Morris, Malik Beasley, Torrey Craig, Trey Lyles and Mason Plumlee to the reserves like Thomas Welsh, DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell and Tyler Lydon, Malone has available talent and depth like we haven’t seen.
Given that depth, it’s imperative that Malone finds a way to get minutes for his ailing backcourt. It seems unreasonable to recall Akoon-Purcell from the D-league just to never get off the Nuggets bench. Welsh’s excitement and Lydon’s skill should be enough to carve out 6-8 minutes per game.
The Nuggets were amazing down the stretch last season but they were exhausted. They looked worn out in Atlanta. They are young but they are human and pushing them in the middle of what’s become a crucial season for Denver basketball is not wise particularly given last season’s result. The Nuggets will struggle to finish the year 4-4 as it is. There is no reason not to let the young bench log some valuable minutes. You never know when you may need them down the road and some of our best finds have come from young players that have risen to the occasion when called on. The Nuggets need to have 14 ready players and Coach Malone needs to use them.
That leads to our next thought and the thing the Nuggets can’t do: