In Monte Morris’ second NBA season, he is getting his tryout with the Denver Nuggets. He is performing pretty well through the first games so far, in fact, he is a big reason for the Nuggets 4-0 start.
With Isaiah Thomas missing the beginning of the season with a hip injury, Morris has been the main backup point guard. In this role, he has earned 20 minutes a game. He is posting 6.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and .5 turnovers (surprise, surprise) per game.
However, his shooting has struggled to this point, Morris is only connecting on 32.4% of his jumpers. His three-point shooting hasn’t been the best, but it’s also not bad at 37.5%. The inefficient shooting has been uncharacteristic for Monte, but my guess is that it will even out over the course of the season.
The concern for Morris coming into the league was him not being big enough to get shots off. However, he has gotten his shots off but they haven’t fallen. The fact that he is getting good and open looks is a good sign of what’s to come.
Even though he has struggled from the field, he is impacting the game in every other way. He is bringing the same style of distribution that he used at Iowa State to the association. He finds open people and get them the ball, as Jamal Murray said, “He gets you the ball whenever he wants.” This play below proves Jamal’s quote.
Monte Morris ⬆️ Mason Plumlee ⬇️#MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/yRM2neOl5i— NBA (@NBA) October 24, 2018
A huge positive for Monte is the fact that his poor shooting isn’t limiting his minutes. He is doing everything on the floor so well that he can’t be left on the bench. He is also cooking one of the best defenders in the league, Draymond Green.
⛸⛸⛸⛸⛸⛸⛸⛸⛸⛸⛸— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) October 22, 2018
MONTE GOT 'EM SKATIN'
Even when playing against the players at the caliber of Green, he has complete control of the game when he is in. He takes care of the ball with his 7.6-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. As he continues to mature, he will start to settle in and find his groove. His shooting will certainly improve and his playmaking will only get better.
His defense is another thing that will get better with time and experience. He’s averaging just half a steal per game, but defense is something you can’t judge on stats. By watching him play the game, he is doing what he did at Iowa State. He’s playing smart defense and competing on that side of the floor, even if he is playing against bigger and stronger guys than him.
Isaiah Thomas’ return is still up in the air, but he probably won’t return for a couple months. This will be a lot of time for the young point guard to get better and prove himself. Nonetheless, the unfinished product of Monte Morris right now is still a very good bench piece for one of the best teams in the NBA.
Next time we will see Monte play is Thursday night on TNT against Lebron James and the Lakers.