Happy Thanksgiving: Five Things for Nuggets Fans to Cheer

Nuggets, Aaron Gordon, Nikola Jokic (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Nuggets, Aaron Gordon, Nikola Jokic (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Denver Nuggets: Young stars on the rise

Quick quiz: Who leads the Nuggets in 3-point shooting percentage?

If you said Bones Hyland, good guess. If you said Zeke Nnaji without Googling, that’s impressive. Nnaji was pick No. 22 in the 2020 NBA Draft. Along with Bones, picked No. 26 this year, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly appears to have hit on both of the Nuggs’ last two first-round draft picks.

Nnaji just returned from an ankle injury in style with 8 points, including 2-4 on three-pointers, along with 8 rebounds and 2 blocks.

In Nnaji’s small sample size of 6 games at 10.8 minutes per game, Nnaji is shooting 57.1 percent on 3-pointers (8-14) and ranks second highest on the team at 53.3 percent from the floor (16-30). This big can shoot. Oh, by the way, having played only a year at Arizona, Nnaji is still the youngest on the roster at 20.

Bones is 21. During the 5-game home winning streak in early November, Hyland’s numbers started ascending into the same stratosphere as his energy and charisma. Before injuring his ankle, Bones had already cracked the Top 10 KIA Rookie Ladder and other Top-10 rookie lists.

It ain’t easy landing players with picks in the 20s who produce this early. As a matter of fact, it’s hard to land players in the Top 10. Here’s a sampling of lottery picks from the 2020 draft with Nnaji: Patrick Williams, Killian Hayes, Deni Avidja. What have they done for their teams lately?