The Nuggets have been battling injuries throughout the first half of the NBA season, but the team finally received good news on Sunday. Denver’s first round pick Emmanuel Mudiay finally returned to the court against the Hornets.
Mudiay’s return was well timed due to Jameer Nelson’s hip injury that forced him to sit out the Charlotte game, and the Nuggets could use a spark of energy. The team has not played consistent basketball recently, and that might be due to all of the injuries.
Mudiay gave Denver a spark against Charlotte, scoring his first three buckets, and the Nuggets would eventually win the game by a score of 95 to 92. He played well in his first game in about a month.
Mudiay also returned as a point guard when the team needed one most. With Nelson and Foye dealing with injuries, Denver’s backcourt has been forced to use Will Barton and Gary Harris as point guard. The lineup just has not been consistent enough in order to allow the team to get into a rhythm. Hopefully for the Nuggets, a healthy Mudiay could be the start to getting a set starting lineup again.
The win over the Hornets was still much needed after losing five of the teams’ last six games. The team has played well in those losses, but head coach Mike Malone has constantly stressed that moral victories aren’t enough.
Only wins will get the team in the playoffs. The Nuggets can only hope that Mudiay continues to grow as a young NBA player and become the cornerstone for their franchise.