Northwest Notes: Nuggets, Thunder, Booker, Bazley, Jazz

When the Nuggets rested all five of their starters for the entire fourth quarter in a close loss to the Lakers on Monday night, it was clear that the team was prioritizing health over its playoff seed, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Having been shorthanded throughout the restart, Denver will want to make sure it keeps key players like Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Paul Millsap off the injured list with the playoffs around the corner.

Fortunately for the Nuggets, two of their missing rotation players may be nearing a return. As Singer relays (via Twitter), TNT’s Jared Greenberg said on Monday night’s broadcast that the club is hoping to have Gary Harris and Will Barton available on Friday for the last of eight seeding games. Neither player has suited up so far this summer.

Meanwhile, rookie Vlatko Cancar, who is recovering from a foot fracture, has arrived at the Walt Disney World campus and is in quarantine, according to Singer (Twitter link). Although Cancar isn’t expected to play, the Nuggets can now say their entire team is in Orlando, Singer notes.

Let’s round up a few more notes from around the Northwest…

  • Former Suns GM Ryan McDonough, who drafted Devin Booker with the No. 13 pick in 2015, tells Chris Mannix of that the Thunder tried to trade up one spot from No. 14 in what he believes was an effort to nab Booker themselves. “You could kind of hear or sense the air come out of the (OKC) room,” McDonough said of the moment when he told the Thunder he was drafting Booker. “You could tell they wanted him.”
  • Although he has been part of the Thunder‘s rotation for most of his rookie season, Darius Bazley has received a bump in minutes this summer and has responded well, with his first career double-double (22 points, 10 rebounds) on Monday. Nick Gallo of notes that Bazley’s play in the restart bodes well for his long-term potential, while Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman points to the 20-year-old’s shot selection as a key reason for his breakout.
  • Like Denver, the Jazz are prioritizing staying healthy and developing their bench players as the postseason nears, says Sarah Todd of The Deseret News. Miye Oni, Jarrell Brantley, and Rayjon Tucker are among the beneficiaries, playing at least 23 minutes apiece on Monday vs. Dallas.
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7 thoughts on “Northwest Notes: Nuggets, Thunder, Booker, Bazley, Jazz

  1. Sillivan

    I think 3 teams are tanking for a better matchup in playoffs

    Rockets have fallen in love to beat incomplete Lakers

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      That’s funny because OKC and the Jazz are both tanking to force the other to play Houston in the first round, while the Rockets wisely don’t want to face the Clippers in the second although they certainly don’t want to face the Blazers either. So hopefully someone besides Portland wins the 8th seed.

  2. nentwigs

    “The Jazz are prioritizing staying healthy and” in an effort to further condition their starters and their bench players to both prevent injury by getting everyone in tip-top shape, the team is implementing a new workout program……


    Why NOT!!

    At least this can be used as an excuse for having a team with the name “JAZZ” in the middle of Utah !!

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Rockets are 4th seed. How are they tanking. To be 5th seed and still play same team. Boy Lavar ?? I wonder about you sometimes. Why would Thunder drop. I’m sure they rather Rockets than Nuggets.
    Thunder vs Rockets should be a great 1st rd series.
    I know CP3 will show up ….
    Jazz can’t get worse than 6. It’s Denver like it’s always been. So I don’t get your post.
    Grizz have it in their own hands. Will Bucks rest players. They’re not playing for anything. I see
    Blazers vs Suns. Should be great. With Booker and Dame killing it. They say that CJ is hurt. I can’t see them beating LA without CJ. It’s bad luck man. So I’m rooting for Suns all the way. I hope they win then give Lakers fits. There is no one on Lakers that can guard Booker. I think Lakers can be had. Not a deep team. You will have a chance against them.
    I hope ALL the Booker traders here. Will watch and see why Suns will never trade him. These playoffs are going to be fun. With no hm court advantage. All should feel like they have a real shot. Get ready all starts Thurs. Bucks vs Grizz 3:00 pm.

    • wagner13

      I think he’s implying the Rockets don’t want to clinch the third seed. Otherwise, they would likely face the Clippers in the second round. On the other hand, that might let them face the Jazz instead of OKC for their initial series

  4. x%sure

    OKC settled for Cam Payne after PHX took Booker. Payne is almost an NBAer.

  5. wagner13

    Imagine a starting lineup of Westbrook, Booker, Durant, Ibaka, and Adams. Would be deadly

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