Night shooting sessions key to Mudiay’s streak
los angeles» Drastic shifts in play are rarely as sudden as they appear. Work was probably being put in behind the scenes, and that’s been the secret sauce to Emmanuel Mudiay’s hot shooting of late.
In the two games leading into Tuesday night’s contest against the Los Angeles Clippers, Mudiay averaged a team-leading 20.0 points, but it was his shooting percentages that stole the show. Mudiay knocked down 63 percent of his shots overall and was blistering hot from 3-point range, nailing 75 percent from behind the arc.
According to Nuggets coach Michael Malone, Mudiay not only worked on his shot pre- and postpractice, but “he comes back at nighttime.”
“That’s a thing that people don’t see,” Malone said. “He puts the time in on his game. He’s committed to his craft. So he will get in work with the player development staff, prepractice, postpractice. There’s been nights when I’ve been leaving and he’s coming back at nighttime to shoot. So, it matters to him. Obviously he was struggling individually for a little while, but I couldn’t be happier for him, because his hard work is paying off and he’s playing at a high level.”
Malone furthered the connection back to the lineup change.
“You look at the shooting since Gary (Harris has) been back, both Gary and Emmanuel have been shooting lights out in that threegame win streak at home,” Malone said. “Anytime Emmanuel is shooting such a high percentage, now teams are guarding him and running him off the line, (and that) allows him to get downhill. I think the change in lineup has helped him because now there’s more room to operate. He’s showing how effective he can be when he has that room to operate.”
Tuesday was the completion of the Nuggets’ sixth set of back-to-back sets this season. They have 16 in all, with the next set coming at the start of the new year. … The Nuggets’ lineup of Mudiay, Gary Harris, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and Nikola Jokic started for the fourth consecutive game Tuesday.