The Nuggets had four players suffer season-ending injuries last year or before the season even began:
- Danilo Gallinari (torn ACL)
- JaVale McGee (stress fracture)
- Nate Robinson (torn ACL)
- J.J. Hickson (torn ACL)
of the four, Shaw said that center JaVale McGee is “probably the furthest away” from being back
“What he’s going through right now is when he has practiced and he has done physical work out there on the floor, he’s the only one that’s shown some soreness the next day,” Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said. “But from our medical staff they say that’s pretty natural, he’s going to be sore and then he’ll take a day (off) and the soreness will go away and then he’ll do a little bit more the next time.”
“He still may be able to go when the season starts,” Shaw said. “But I’m just judging that based on everybody else so far has not had any soreness, has not had any relapses or taken any backward steps. He’s the only one that’s feeling any pain at all. So that’s why I’m still a little cautious with him.
Looks like Timofey Mozgov – who took the job from Hickson before Hickson’s injury – has a head start on becoming Denver’s starting center.
The Nuggets have invested heavily in McGee, and he’s started just five games for them. We might be headed toward another disappointing season from McGee, even if it’s not his fault this time.
Denver has enough talent to push for a low playoff seed. But McGee is one of the team’s most talented players, and it doesn’t sound as if he’s close to ready. Then, once he gets healthy, his game still needs maturing.
I understand why the Nuggets gambled on the athletic McGee’s upside, but so far, it’s not paying off for one reason or another. With two years and $23,250,000 left on his contract, they have little choice but wait for him to get healthy and then go from there.