Nuggets two-way guard Davon Reed probably won’t see much action when the team is fully healthy, but he has earned the team’s trust by taking advantage of his limited opportunities, writes Kyle Fredrickson of The Denver Post. Reed received nearly 20 minutes of playing time due to Will Barton‘s ankle injury on Monday night, scoring a career-high 17 points on just eight shot attempts (five of seven from deep) in Denver’s 131-124 win over the Warriors.
Reed is 30-for-64 from three-point range on the season, good for 46.9%. He says he puts in the work to stay ready for when his number is called.
“If I don’t play, I’m upstairs after every game getting shots up. I’m getting my work in every day. All I can do is control what I can control by staying ready,” Reed said. “It’s not going to happen like this every night. But shots were able to go in. It’s a testament to the work.”
Reed’s impressive work ethic has earned praise from superstar teammate Nikola Jokic, as Fredrickson relays.
“I always respect that,” Jokic said. “It’s something that shows to me that he cares. That he wants to be here and wants to be part of the team. He wants to get better. He performed well today. He knocked down some threes and played really (well). Just the respect of staying ready.”
In case you missed it, our JD Shaw interviewed Reed back in January.
Here’s more from the Western Conference:
- Nuggets assistant GM Tommy Balcetis has had an unusual path to the NBA, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic writes as part of his 40 under 40 series. Balcetis immigrated to the U.S. from Lithuania as a teenager, then played high school and college hoops. Unfortunately, his playing career was ended prematurely when it was discovered he had a heart condition. He was determined to work in the league, taking a pay cut work in the international media division a couple years after college, as Vorkunov details. Balcetis met president of basketball operations Tim Connelly at a Basketball Without Borders event in Russia in 2012, and sent Connelly a congratulatory text when he was hired by Denver in 2013. They’d only met once, but Connelly remembered him and asked for his résumé. “He impressed me with his passion and intelligence and knowledge of the game,” Connelly said, recalling what made him reach out. “I thought his story was really cool.”
- Josh Okogie has seen scant playing time this season for the Timberwolves, but he’s providing leadership off the bench, per Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “He has the same approach every single day,” head coach Chris Finch said. “I know a lot of times he’s been frustrated not being able to play or not being able to hold a consistent role as things changed around him, and sometimes it wasn’t his fault. … But he’s been a great pro. Really mature, into the game, into the practice and the preparation, and he has a bright future in this league.” Okogie will be a restricted free agent this summer if the Wolves tender him a qualifying offer.
- Spurs guard Josh Richardson has embraced his new role as an elder statesman, but it’s unclear if he’ll remain in San Antonio beyond this season, according to Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. At 28, Richardson is the second-oldest player on the team behind Doug McDermott (30). “When you come to a team that has a rotation set already, it’s going to be a little different,” Richardson said of his limited role thus far. “I knew that coming here. You’ve got to be professional and stay ready.” Richardson has one year left on his contract after signing an extension last summer. He’ll earn $12,196,094 in 2022/23.