After a layoff of nearly four-and-a-half months, basketball returned today, and the Nuggets celebrated the occasion by running out the most unusual five-man starting lineup we’ve seen all season in their inter-squad scrimmage vs. Washington.
As Kendra Andrews of The Athletic relays (via Twitter), Denver’s starting five consisted entirely of power forwards and centers, with Nikola Jokic, Jerami Grant, Paul Millsap, and Mason Plumlee joined by rookie Bol Bol, making his Nuggets debut after having been limited to eight G League appearances so far in his first professional season.
The Nuggets rolled with that gigantic lineup in large part because a handful of their players were unavailable on Wednesday. Here are updates on a few of those players:
- Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. is traveling to Orlando today, a source tells Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Porter hadn’t initially traveled with the team two weeks ago and had yet to arrive at the NBA’s campus, but should be able to begin his two-day quarantine period on Wednesday evening.
- Will Barton was held out of the Nuggets’ first inter-squad scrimmage today due to knee soreness, Singer writes in a separate Denver Post story. According to head coach Michael Malone, Barton could have played today if he were needed, but the team preferred to take a cautious approach (Twitter link via Singer). Jamal Murray was also held out of today’s scrimmage as a precautionary measure.
- Nuggets forward Vlatko Cancar is dealing with a left foot injury and has yet to arrive in Orlando, per Singer. Cancar was listed on the Nuggets’ official summer roster announced by the NBA on Monday, so presumably the team still believes he has a chance to report to the Disney campus.