This is how deep the Denver Nuggets are — they’ve been hiding rookie Evan Fournier on their bench all season. He only got in sporadically during the season as the rookie worked on his game and getting stronger and used to the NBA speed (things he talked about needing to do back at Summer League).
Then they called on him when injuries mounted and in the last 10 games he’s averaged 11.1 points a game on 51.2 percent shooting. He’s got range, having hit 40.7 percent of his threes this year. The 6’6” swingman out of France has been a big boost.
So the Nuggets are going to start him in Game 1 against the Warriors Saturday reports the Denver Post.
Not starting is Kenneth Faried, and he may not play due to his sprained ankle. It’s officially a game-time call but GM Masai Ujir told the Denver Post it’s unlikely.
This is going to be a fun, up-and-down series. And if you haven’t seen Fournier play, you’re going to like his game. He will fit in seamlessly for the Nuggets.
Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:
Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:
Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.