Denver Nuggets: A Bones Hyland breakout is right around the corner

Denver Nuggets guard Bones Hyland (3) watches his shot in the second quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Ball Arena on 25 Oct. 2021. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
Denver Nuggets guard Bones Hyland (3) watches his shot in the second quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Ball Arena on 25 Oct. 2021. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports) /

The excitement at Ball Arena could be felt when Denver Nuggets rookie Bones Hyland stepped on the court against the Cleveland Cavaliers and again against the Dallas Mavericks.

Mile High Basketball fans know Denver landed something special when they drafted Nah’Shon ‘Bones’ Hyland with the 26th pick in the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft. In those two games, Hyland didn’t play more than 12 minutes, but still found a way to score at least six points in each on 55 percent shooting.

On 30 Oct., the Denver Nuggets found themselves in Minnesota on the second leg of a back-to-back set and turned to Hyland in the hopes of turning around a significant lead Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves built while Michael Porter Jr. and Will Barton struggled early on.

This is when the safety harness was taken off Hyland’s minutes, as he logged a whopping 18 in the comeback win, notching eight points on 43 percent shooting with a steal, a block, and three assists to boot.

Hyland is in a situation similar to the one MPJ was in last year, and he will need to continue stacking bricks to build a foundation of trust with Nuggets head coach Michael Malone. MPJ’s struggles this season could open the door for more Hyland minutes as Malone desperately searches for scoring alongside reigning MVP Nikola Jokic.

The reason for the delay with unleashing Hyland could be number of things but not all are necessarily bad.

Monte Morris has been phenomenal in his takeover of the Nuggets at the point after Jamal Murray went down and outside of the Timberwolves game, Will Barton has been sizzling to start out the season. Couple Morris’ production with the casual insertion of Facu Campazzo’s defense and floor-general skills and Hyland can often be on the outside looking in when it comes to minutes on the floor.

Campazzo’s defense has been welcome but the Argentinian leaves a little to be desired in the scoring department and that is where Hyland is not shy. Expect Bones to be leaned on more and more, especially if the Nuggets are faced with tough solutions to questions about injury and fatigue that will inevitably pop up throughout the season.

Hyland’s 18 minutes played against Minnesota should be encouraging for Nuggets fans and the electricity at Ball arena should continue to be high-powered as the home schedule eases up when the Houston Rockets come to Denver on Saturday afternoon.

The rookie out of VCU has proven he can be more than a garbage time contributor and could establish himself as a trusty scoring option for Michael Malone as he continues to work out how to solve Denver’s early problem with bench scoring.

Hyland has kept the turnovers to a minimum and has added at least one 3-pointer in every contest he’s been a part of.

If the Denver Nuggets can spread the floor on offense with Hyland’s shooting and lock teams down on defense with the likes of Aaron Gordon, they have a shot at rattling off some wins even without Jamal Murray and establish themselves atop the Western Conference as teams like the LA Lakers continue to struggle with their newly-formed rosters.

dark. Next. Why is MPJ off to a slow start?