The Denver Nuggets have been a pleasant surprise this season. Denver is currently 34-37, and have a strong shot at making the playoffs for the first time since 2013. However, in order for that to happen the Nuggets must hold off the Portland Trail Blazers, who is only one game behind them.
The Nuggets are playing their best basketball of the season, having won 8 of their last 12. You can point anywhere, whether it’s Nikola Jokic, who has been as dominant as any big over the last few months. Jokic is averaging 16.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 4.7 assists. Or, you can also point to their overwhelming depth.
Denver is certainly the deepest team in the league with players such as Will Barton, Kenneth Faried, and Wilson Chandler coming off the bench. The addition of Mason Plumlee has helped tremendously, as his ability to pass and run the floor have been key. (By the way, Jusuf Nurkic is playing great basketball in Portland).
A big reason the Nuggets have been so good as of late is Gary Harris. The Michigan State product has been tremendous since returning from a right ankle sprain. The 22-year-old is averaging 14.8 points and 2.6 assists this year.
And while the numbers don’t blow anyone away, these should:
Harris is shooting 49 percent from the field (42% from deep), and is only committing 1.3 turnovers a game. He averages as much steals (1.3 spg) as turnovers. If he qualifies at the end of the season he would lead all shooting guards in field goal percentage and third in three-point percentage.
Not only is Harris an improving scorer, he is a good defender. On a team that gives up 111 points a game, he is their most reliable perimeter defender. Harris has turned into the West Coast version of Avery Bradley. Both players are terrific “3-and-D” guards with athleticism.
Over his last six games, Harris is averaging 20.3 points. Look for him to be a key for the Nuggets over the next few weeks. Take notice that Harris has quickly become one of the most productive guards in the league.
Gary Harris scored career-high 28 points in the Nuggets’ 125-124 to the Rockets
— NBA.com (@NBAcom) March 21, 2017