Night shoot­ing ses­sions key to Mu­diay’s streak

The Denver Post - - OFF & RUNNING - By Christo­pher Dempsey

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.”

Foot­notes.

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.

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