clock menu more-arrow no yes
2020 NBA Restart - All Access Practice Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

If you’re not familiar with Film Fridays, each Friday, I’ll be looking at some recent Denver Nuggets’ games, lineups or something else from a film aspect to try and bring you a piece of content that you’re not getting somewhere else. Feel free to give any feedback positive or negative in the comments or find me on Twitter.

First thing’s first, you don’t like the title? Too bad. The joke was too easy to make. Now that we got that over with, how much fun was it to watch actual basketball for the first time in four months? Finally, we’re getting to the most exciting story from Wednesday afternoon. Rookie center Bol Bol saw his first minutes against live NBA competition, and he had a pretty successful evening.

In 32 minutes, he finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks. He was also +18 in those minutes. He turned the ball over five times, which is something he’ll need to clean up, but I don’t expect him to be a primary ball handler when he’s on the floor for serious minutes with guys like Nikola Jokic, Monte Morris and Jamal Murray.

His shooting line was mildly concerning. He finished the day 6-of-14 from the floor, but that was weighed down by a 2-of-8 day from 3-point range. He was 4-of-6 inside the arc. Bol gives this team something special. He’s not going to bully bigs like Jokic does with his size, but he can move in a different way and extend the floor to a point they aren’t comfortable covering him.

Doing It On Both Ends

When Bol was coming out of college, this is what everyone was hoping to see from him. He’s floating around in the paint using his 7’8” wingspan to deter drivers to the basket, and, when they make this unfortunate forays, he snuffs them out. After gathering the rebound, he starts dribbling to the other end, and he shows off the big-boy range with the deep triple. This is what we wanted to see out of Bol, and he’s showing he can actually do everything we thought he could.

This is wrong. Bol has no right to block this shot, and, despite that, he gets his hand on it to shut down that entire possession. While Jokic is an offensive wizard and Mason Plumlee is a fundamental big, Bol is able to alter shots in a way that no one else can. The thing that will be a key for him is to put more weight on his frame if he’s going to be responsible for guarding centers inside. At only 220 pounds, he can get bullied by bigger centers such as Boban Marjanović and Joel Embiid.

Block Him I Dare You

To the rest of the NBA, good luck on blocking his shot. You’re just flat out not going to get your hand on it. His high release allows him to get the shot off against even the tallest defenders, and that makes it that much easier for him to produce on offense. When he gets inside and is contested, he can just face up and kiss the ball off the glass for some easy points.

Man was this fun to watch, and I love effort plays. Bol immediately starts running the floor, and Jokic rewards him with the outlet pass. After he catches the ball at half court, it take him just two dribbles and a gather step till he was finger rolling the ball into the basket. The shot rims out, and he grabs the rebound before immediately flushing it back home. These are the plays that have been exciting us about Michael Porter Jr. all year, and Bol is doing the exact same thing.

Hustle Earns Minutes

This is an exhibition game. It has the same amount of importance as a pick-up game that you can play at any rec center with nine other guys. Despite all of that, Bol is sprinting the floor to get one last block before the games over, and he swats it like it’s a volleyball right after Jared Uthoff puts the ball up. If you have two players that are equal in all ways other than effort, more often than not, the player that’s putting in a greater amount of effort is the one that’s going to end up on the floor.

We’re ending with something real fun. Bol isn’t going to be the primary ball handler on hardly any occasions, but I love seeing him whip the ball across the floor. He grips the ball with his hand, and he just whips it to his teammate who finishes with the reverse layup. Plumlee is consistently one of the better passing bigs in the league, and Bol is showing he has the skills to be even a step above that level.

For those of you that are still here, remember to leave your feedback in the comments or over on my Twitter, and have a fantastic film-filled Friday.