NUGGETS

Add another name to the list of intriguing players on the Nuggets roster

Dec 14, 2021, 6:50 AM
markus howard...
(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

The Denver Nuggets certainly have a curious roster of players. Wait, maybe interesting is a more accurate description. Better yet, how about intriguing?

We start with Nikola Jokic. To say the least, this guy is intriguing. The basketball world has never seen anything like him. Not even a mad basketball scientist could have imagined this seven foot, rebounding, shot-making point guard.

Then, there is Michael Porter, Jr. He’s a player who’s combination of size, athleticism and basketball skills is almost unmatched in the NBA.

Then, we have Jamal Murray. His talent and drive make him one of the very best guards in the NBA. At least when he’s healthy. His background makes him intriguing. He’s a Canadian, born to parents who are natives of Syria and Jamaica.

We can add Bones Hyland. He’s a gifted player who looks to be a steal for the Nuggets late in the first round. The story of surviving a house fire, while in high school, where two family members died, also makes him intriguing.

Now, let’s add one more. Markus Howard.

We have seen flashes. There have been a couple games in his short NBA career where Howard turned some heads with his shooting. Especially his three-point shooting. But until last Saturday, in a game at San Antonio, we never got the full show.

Prior to that game in San Antonio, a 127-112 victory, Howard had scored a total of 25 points this season. He had made a total of five three-pointers. But on this night in the AT&T Center, a place the Nuggets have had little success at over the years, Markus Howard had his coming out party. He scored a career high 21 points, just four fewer than the whole season combined. And in just 21 minutes! He hit six three-pointers, one more than the entire season combined!

Howard went undrafted out of Marquette, despite having an historic four-year career there. As a freshman, he averaged 13.4 points a game and led the NCAA in three-point percentage, hitting at a mind boggling 53.4 percent clip. As a sophomore, he averaged 20.4 points and was second in the country in free-throw percentage at 93.8 percent. As a junior, he had a 53-point game, as well as a 45-point game (where he scored 40 in the second half). As a senior, he dropped 51 in a game against a good USC team, joining Wayman Tisdale and Pete Maravich as the only college players to have 50-point games in three straight seasons. He left Marquette as it’s all-time leading scorer.

When the draft came around last year, Howard was passed up. Too small (5-10). Didn’t handle the ball all that well. Was not a good passer as point guards go. Would struggle to match up defensively with other NBA guards. He could shoot it. He could really shoot it. But there were too many other factors working against him.

The Nuggets passed on Howard in the draft, but they were intrigued enough by the shooting ability to sign him to a two-way contract. And I’m guessing they are glad they did. Especially after last Saturday night in San Antonio.

There are a bunch of intriguing players on this Nuggets roster.

Including, now, Markus Howard.

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Add another name to the list of intriguing players on the Nuggets roster