Nuggets Notes: Brown, Chemistry, Jokic, Hyland

Veteran guard Bruce Brown, who spent two seasons in Detroit and two more in Brooklyn before arriving in Denver, said the Nuggets‘ locker room is the best one he has been a part of, writes Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post.

“Everybody likes everybody, everybody is cool with everyone. We do mostly all things together, even if we have a night off, we’ll do things together. I’m happy I’m in this locker room,” Brown said. “It’s just a bunch of good guys. I’m not saying I didn’t play with other good guys with other franchises, but it’s just a bunch of good guys, all on the same page, so it’s been good.”

After winning 14 of their last 17 games, the Nuggets have a 28-13 record, tied with Memphis for the best mark in the Western Conference and 3.5 games ahead of third-place New Orleans. Head coach Michael Malone believes the close-knit nature of the team is one important reason for its success, according to Saunders.

“You’re either together or you’re not,” Malone said. “For me, it’s pretty simple. The best teams in the NBA are usually really connected, on and off the court. And you can see it. And on the flip side, you can see the teams that have no chemistry. You have five individuals playing for themselves out there.”

Here’s more out of Denver:

  • Two-time MVP Nikola Jokic has been ruled out for Friday’s game vs. the Clippers due to right wrist injury management, per the NBA’s official injury report. Jokic played 28 minutes in a blowout win over Phoenix on Wednesday and didn’t seem to be favoring the wrist, tweets Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports, so there’s no indication at this point that it’s a major cause for concern.
  • Three executives from different Western Conference teams speculated to Mike Singer of The Denver Post (subscription required) that if the Nuggets make a trade in the coming weeks to add size, defense, and/or experience, Bones Hyland would be part of the outgoing package. General manager Calvin Booth will have to determine whether Hyland’s timeline matches that of the win-now Nuggets, according to Singer, who notes that the second-year wing has played some of his best basketball as of late, averaging 16.6 PPG on .522/.519/.857 shooting in his last eight games (22.2 MPG).
  • Hyland is hoping to get the opportunity to participate in next month’s three-point contest at All-Star weekend in Utah, Singer writes in a separate story for The Denver Post. “If it happens, it happens. I want to win it. I want to be in it,” said Hyland, who is averaging 2.6 made threes in just 20.8 minutes per game and knocking them down at a 41.7% clip. His name is on a preliminary list of players the NBA is considering inviting, a source tells Singer.
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