Nuggets attempt to get handle on early-season turnover issue
It seems the Nuggets’ turnover faucet has turned off all of a sudden. At the very least, the stream has been reduced considerably.
In the first 12 games this season, the Nuggets were giving the ball away at a rate of 17.8 per game. But in the five games before Wednesday night against Miami, they had chopped six turnovers off that number, averaging just 11.6 in that span, which was the second-best number in the NBA.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone held a meeting with players to deal with the turnover problem by discussing roles and the specific tasks expected of them when they are on the court.
But “if it was that simple, it would have stopped after the first game,” Malone said.
So why the sudden improvement?
“Through constant film study, showing guys,” Malone said. “Our coaching staff does a great job with our player development in grabbing guys in one-on-one setting, in watching film and understanding, ‘You’re turning the ball over, but let’s dig deeper: Why?’ ”
Point guard Emmanuel Mudiay has been the catalyst for the team’s change in turnover fortunes. He went from averaging 4.3 turnovers in the first 12 games to 1.2 in the last five. His assist-toturnover ratio ballooned from 0.92 to 3.83.
“He realized that playing fast doesn’t mean we’re playing reckless,” Malone said. “Part of playing with pace is making sound, solid, quick decisions and not trying to do too much.”
The Nuggets got Danilo Gallinari, Juancho Hernangomez and Mike Miller back in the lineup Wednesday night. Will Barton (ankle), Darrell Arthur (illness) and Gary Harris (foot) were out of the game. Arthur missed practice Tuesday and the game continuing to battle being sick.