The Nuggets guard on a two-way contract received some run against Charlotte. The reception was entirely positive after an encouraging performance.
It was a worrisome moment when Jamal Murray landed awkwardly after a contested shot in Wednesday’s contest against the Hornets. A painful ankle injury was immediately apparent as the franchise point guard for the Denver Nuggets recoiled in pain upon his landing.
“I just looked at it. It’s rather large — kinda scary,” Coach Malone said after the game regarding Jamal’s ankle, “He rolled it and those are scary because those kind of injuries, besides being painful, you don’t want to have Jamal Murray miss an extended period of time. Hopefully it’s not as bad as it looks and we can get him back.” (per DNVR)
In his absence, P.J. Dozier was able to play 13 minutes, coming off of the bench behind Monte Morris.
In his first real showing for the Denver Nuggets at the NBA level, P.J. recorded an efficient 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. This came to no surprise to the coaching staff and his teammates who all had high praise for Dozier. One telling comment he received was also from Coach Malone who said he had been ‘destroying’ the G-League. This statement is factual.
P.J. Dozier is a player with elite length and above average athleticism. His skill has continued to develop in his time as a professional basketball player. Already a talented combo-guard, P.J. has used his length and skill to produce 21 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 7.6 assists per game in the G-League this season.
Dozier is certainly a capable offensive player, as he demonstrated against the Hornets. His length is useful on the defensive end as well, as he is averaging 1.6 steals per game in the G-League. He’s undoubtedly a plus-defender as Player Impact Plus-Minus for the G-League rates him at +1.63, comfortably good on that end.
The hope is that his talent will translate to the NBA, where he will need to play legitimate minutes.
P.J. Dozier is an NBA player.
Barton specifically went one step further, calling him ‘part of the future’.
It’s easy to buy in after his excellent display in his first stint. Hopefully the positive signs continue as he becomes more incorporated into the plays and sets that the Nuggets run.
If Will Barton is right, Dozier’s contributions for the Denver Nuggets could materialize as soon as next year, if the front office and coaching staff sees him as someone able to play valuable rotation minutes. A combo-guard with defensive prowess could be a valuable rotation piece down the road. There’s a lot of room for him to develop as a shooter, but his raw talent is there.