Denver Nuggets rookie Julian Strawther was the star of the show in Denver’s preseason opener against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday. The 21-year-old poured in 20 points in Phoenix as the Nuggets downed the Suns 115-107.
After his impressive debut, Strawther had to share how comfortable his teammates made him feel.
“It was good,” Strawther said of his first time playing with Denver (h/t Katy Winge). “I feel like we were playing really well, honestly, we competed and played hard on both ends [of the floor]. Obviously, we’re still trying to find our identity… I thought guys were able to hunt each other out. I got hot and the team rode that hot hand in the third quarter. That’s what’s so amazing about this team. There’s just so much confidence in each other. This was my first time playing on an NBA court and they were looking for me tonight… that’s just a testament to what this team is.”
Strawther’s 20 points came in an efficient fashion, as he drilled 8-of-12 attempts from the field, including four threes.
Can Julian Strawther earn real minutes for the Denver Nuggets?
It’s not out of the realm of possibility that the rookie could find himself a spot in Michael Malone’s rotation this season. Over the summer, Denver’s depth at the wing spot was gutted. Both Bruce Brown and Jeff Green left in free agency, and then Vlatko Cancar tore his ACL.
The Nuggets will likely turn to a lot of different guys to see who can fill the void off the bench. If Strawther is able to produce at half of the level that he did against Phoenix, then he could be in line for some real minutes this season.