Nuggets at­tempt to get han­dle on early-sea­son turnover is­sue

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Christo­pher Dempsey

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.”

In­jury up­date.

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.

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