Last season ended rough for Nuggets Nation.
With an opportunity to come back and make the playoffs for the first time in five seasons against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the season finale, the Nuggets came up short, losing 112-106 in overtime.
Clearly, the loss is still fresh on Will Barton’s mind, as he made it perfectly clear in his latest Instagram post.
The date in question, April 11th, 2018, is the date of Denver’s loss to Minnesota. Barton had 24 points in that game but his miss on a short floater that would have tied the game with 24 seconds left in the overtime period has clearly gnawed at him the entire summer.
After the game, Barton was asked by Harrison Wind of BSN Denver where that loss ranked among the toughest losses of his career. “Toughest one to date. Definitely. Everything was on the line. How bad our team wanted it. The organization. To lose. Definitely the toughest one for me.” When asked to explain that final shot, he held back tears. “...little floater that I make everyday. Missed.”
You can listen to Barton’s full exit interview here where he talks about feeling as though the team has unfinished business:
Motivation appears to come easy for Will Barton, a 2nd round pick who has been fighting to prove himself his entire life. He’s improved every season that he’s been in the league. From being a benchwarmer in Portland, to earning a rotation spot in Denver, to leading Denver’s bench last year, to starting this year, Barton’s improvement has been linear.
And now, with him using last year’s final game as motivation, there’s no way in knowing just how could he could be this year.
Here’s to providing even more motivation.