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A lot of what JaMychal does won’t be seen on the box score but he is a valuable piece to this Denver team. In his second season in the mile high, JaMychal is one of Denver’s key bench players. Every team needs a guy who can do the dirty work. Whether that's fighting on the glass, diving on the floor for a loose ball or holding post position on a taller defender, JaMychal’s presence is an invaluable one off the bench.
Although JaMychal does most of his work on the offensive and defensive glass, he gives the Nuggets opportunities to space the floor on offense. He can pick and pop from three and defenders have to respect his three-point shot because that is part of his identity on the offensive end. His 40% three-point percentage last year was the third-highest of his career and his 3.4 three-point attempts per game were the second-highest of his career.
While Denver lost some of their key defensive pieces in past years, they seemed to shift their focus to the three-point line. The coaching staff wants Denver to shoot about 40 threes per game which will be about six more attempts per game than last season's averages. JaMychal will play a large part in that identity because he is offered frequent open opportunities from the top of the three-point circle. He hasn’t been as consistent from beyond the arc as he would like, but more opportunities will come his way this year so his off-season work should reveal itself early.
Like I said before, JaMychal’s role is one of the most valuable on the team. He’s a big body who can stretch out to the three-point line and in the modern-day NBA, these stretch fours and fives are crucial to counter the other team’s strength. Most likely, JaMychal will receive about 4-5 three-point attempts a game and he needs to knock at least two of them down. If he does, the defense will have to start crowding him on the perimeter and that will offer him easy pump fake and drive opportunities while creating more floor spacing.
Denver desperately needs production from their big spots other than Jokic. Since they don’t have a lot of true centers, they are forgoing shot-blocking and replacing it with bigs who can shoot on the offensive end. If JaMychal is able to knock down that three-pointer more consistently, that will help overcompensate for Denver’s issues inside on the defensive end. Denver’s main concern right now is the lack of production when Jokic steps on the floor. As Jokic steps out usually that is JaMychal’s time to come in, so Green has a huge opportunity this season to eradicate one of Denver’s largest concerns if he can produce off the bench.
Although we don’t always know what we are getting out of him shooting-wise, we do always know he will bring the tenacity on the glass. His forte is being tough on the glass and throughout the game, that will break the spirit of the opponent if he is successful. If JaMychal maintains his great rebounding ability and pairs it with an efficient shooting percentage, he can very well be one of the more valuable stretch fours in the NBA.
The worst case for any player is going to be injuries. If JaMychal’s durability is a concern this year, that leaves a huge hole inside for Denver. Although he did not miss a ton of action last season, he has never played a full season as 78 was the most games he completed in a season back in 2015. Much of JaMychal’s value to this team is his shooting ability so if he cannot get into a rhythm throughout the season, his shot will suffer and so will his playing time.
The second worst-case scenario is if he cannot knock down shots on a consistent basis. It seems like Denver’s production is contagious at times. If one person misses a couple of shots in a row, it seems to seep into the whole group and the next thing you know, the whole team can’t make a bucket.
JaMychal has been known to miss three or four threes in a row and when he does, or anyone does, it impacts the whole game script. It gives the opposition easy transition baskets because they’re offered a long rebound and can get out and run more quickly. Denver’s defense is not good enough to hold off opponents while they are struggling offensively so when the team is missing multiple shots in a row, the chances are the opposition is not.
This is how the Nuggets find themselves in those dreaded 16-2 scoring runs and are clawing their way back into a game they controlled just minutes before. The key for JaMychal is to not miss more than three shots in a row. If he is able to do that Denver is in great shape but if not, the Nuggets will often find themselves down by double digits before you can blink.
I think it’s JaMychal’s time to shine this season. There is a reason why Nikola Jokic loves JaMychal’s game so much, and to be honest with you I don’t know the full scope of that answer, but I will trust the big guy in evaluating talent. My bold prediction is I think Green breaks his career-high in three-point shooting percentage. That high came in 2018-19 with the LA Clippers shooting 41%, and I think that is more than attainable especially considering the frequent opportunities he will receive. I also think he creeps back into that six rebounds a game territory again. Last year was his lowest rebounding total since 2015-16 at 4.8 rebounds a game, but he is a great rebounder and Denver’s most important one off the bench, so I’m looking for JaMychal to have his best all-around season in 2021-22.