Nuggets’ Bol Bol impresses Mike Malone with double-double in debut

It is Bol Ball time for the Denver Nuggets.

Nuggets massive man Bol Bol made his NBA debut a particular one Wednesday, posting 16 factors, 10 rebounds and 6 blocks in an 89-82 win over the Washington Wizards in a scrimmage. Bol, who has been hampered by foot points since he was chosen within the second spherical of the 2019 draft, did not appear shocked by his massive efficiency after it was over.

“I have been working actually laborious, particularly since I bought right here within the bubble,” he stated in a postgame video name. “I used to be simply attempting to not be nervous, after which every thing would simply come to me.”

Bol is the one rookie in 20 years to register not less than 15 factors, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks in a preseason recreation, in accordance with ESPN Stats & Data.

The son of former NBA middle Manute Bol, Bol Bol impressed all through the sport, even operating the break at instances for a badly undermanned Nuggets crew enjoying with out Gary Harris, Torrey Craig, Will Barton and Jamal Murray.

“It is his first recreation in opposition to NBA competitors, and for him to go on the market and get 16, 10 with six blocks is nice,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone stated. “We put him in the course of our zone, tried to funnel every thing to him, let him block pictures. He did a extremely good job of that. I believe he bought drained as the sport went on, which is to be anticipated. He performed 32 minutes, which was a crew excessive. However he is solely going to get higher.

“He did plenty of actually good issues on the market. Pleased with him. And clearly, we’ll have two extra scrimmages, and he’ll proceed to get some alternatives to play, develop and to be taught in opposition to different NBA gamers.”

Bol was regarded as a high prospect within the 2019 draft popping out of the College of Oregon, however left foot surgical procedure derailed his faculty profession and was the principle purpose he slid to the second spherical of the 2019 draft. Bol performed in simply 9 video games for the Windy Metropolis Bulls within the G League this season as he continued his restoration, however his teammates and coaches noticed his potential.

“I am very impressed,” Nuggets guard Troy Daniels stated. “He has plenty of potential, plenty of potential. He undoubtedly has the intangibles to be an incredible participant. … Bol Bol, he did what he does. He has size, he can shoot, he can deal with. He works on that and preserve grinding and get stronger, he’ll be a really, superb participant.”

Bol’s debut was the key takeaway for a Nuggets group that got here into its first recreation within the Walt Disney World Resort bubble with simply eight wholesome gamers. With out many regulars, Malone determined to make his beginning lineup super-sized, with All-Star massive man Nikola Jokic at level guard, Jerami Grant, Paul Millsap, Mason Plumlee and Bol.

“You’ve got heard for years now that this recreation is really a position-less recreation within the trendy period,” Malone stated earlier than the sport. “Effectively, we’ll learn the way that holds tonight. So placing guys in numerous positions, making them a bit bit uncomfortable, making them expertise a place and obligations that they’ve by no means needed to actually take into consideration earlier than, it is solely going to assist them. It undoubtedly cannot damage.”

The common peak of the beginning group is 82.four inches. In response to the Elias Sports activities Bureau, there have been solely 5 situations of a crew utilizing a beginning lineup that was that tall or taller since lineups have been first listed on field scores in the course of the 1970-71 season.

Though Malone was pleased with his crew’s efforts, particularly seeing Jokic out on the ground following a optimistic COVID-19 prognosis in Serbia, he was upset that his gamers turned the ball over 25 instances within the win. Malone stated he was attempting to present his crew a unique look with all the large our bodies.

“We have been speaking about utilizing Nikola with the ball extra, so tonight was an incredible alternative with no Jamal Murray, no Will Barton, no Gary Harris to throw him on the market,” Malone stated. “And clearly, with that zone, tonight may need been the largest lineup in NBA historical past. You have got a 7-foot level guard, you’ve gotten a 6-[foot]-9 2-guard, a 7-[foot]-2 small ahead, a 6-[foot]-9 energy ahead and a 7-foot middle. So we additionally wished to have a bit enjoyable with it, see what we might do on protection, and people guys did a extremely good job.”

No 7-foot participant has began at level guard in an everyday or postseason recreation, in accordance with the Elias Sports activities Bureau.

Nonetheless, it was Bol’s recreation that left the Nuggets hoping that higher days are forward for the 20-year-old.

“I can not train 7-[foot]-2,” Malone stated earlier than the sport. “I can not train a 7-[foot]-9 wingspan, and I certain as hell cannot train a extremely delicate contact all the way in which out to the NBA 3-point line. So he is solely going to get higher as he will get stronger, and I am excited to see how he does tonight.”

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