The Denver Post’s Gina Mizell on Wednesday answered questions from readers about the Nuggets in a live Lunch Special chat. Gina: If you’ve been following Twitter (which you should! But that all lines up with what I’ve seen/reported over the last few days. Malone said before last night’s game that Jokic is “getting closer,” which I reported in our Nuggets briefs piece of our game coverage. Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap will inevitably come back. Gina: Malik Beasley is actually currently getting Juancho’s minutes. Lyles entered the rotation when Millsap went down. Gina: A lot of that will obviously depend on if Jokic and Barton play or not. What’s your favorite story you have written so far? Game stories are actually sometimes my LEAST favorite things to write for a variety of reasons, but Jokic makes them fun.
The Denver Post’s Gina Mizell on Wednesday answered questions from readers about the Nuggets in a live Lunch Special chat. Here are the highlights:
I’m sure you get this a lot, but what’s the latest with Nikola Jokic‘s injury?
Gina: If you’ve been following Twitter (which you should! @ginamizell), you’ll see that Jokic has been upgraded to questionable for tonight’s game in Boston. We should (could) have a better update about 90 minutes before the game, when Malone addresses the media. But that all lines up with what I’ve seen/reported over the last few days. He’s been doing individual dribbling, shooting and 1-on-1 drills in Orlando, Indiana and Detroit. Malone said before last night’s game that Jokic is “getting closer,” which I reported in our Nuggets briefs piece of our game coverage. It sounds like the ankle is still swollen and sore, but that he’s able to move better now than in previous days. In Orlando, he couldn’t jump off that left foot.
The Nuggets are 2-3 so far on this road-trip. Given their rough road record prior to this trip, is the team happy with this result given all of the injuries they’ve had to deal with, or do you get the sense they’re disappointed?
Gina: I think they’re generally happy, not just given the adversity/injuries that you mentioned but also given how poorly it started with those bad losses in Dallas and New Orleans. Malone was so short/direct after that Pelicans game that his postgame interview session was cut off after Ally Sturm’s questions for Altitude. But the defense was strong against Orlando and Detroit. The loss against the Pacers was emotional, but those are going to happen in an 82-game season. I’m curious to see how they come out against the Celtics on the second night of a back-to-back, but so far I think they’re surviving OK, especially since it now looks like Jokic will be back soon. Bottom line: They’re in fifth place in the West nearly 30 games in and without their two best players.
Gina: Trey Lyles has been terrific the past two games and very solid since entering the rotation after Millsap’s injury. Malone praised Lyles a ton during training camp, which you always kind of take with a grain of salt because it’s not uncommon for coaches/front office to pump up their new guy. And then he didn’t crack the rotation. But he’s said from the get-go that he feels like his skill set fits better here than in Utah, and he’s showing that with his recent opportunity. He’s a dangerous shooter, can put the ball on the floor and facilitate inside as a versatile 3-4-5. I wrote a big Sunday piece on him a couple weeks ago outlining how he stayed ready for the chance, and he also mentions he’s just hoping to carve out a role even when Millsap comes back. I know Malone wants to…