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Player Grades: Facundo Campazzo stepped up and played exceptionally when the Nuggets needed him most

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Evaluating the 2020-21 season of Nuggets stud rookie Facu Campazzo.

New Orleans Pelicans v Denver Nuggets Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

When the Denver Nuggets lost Jamal Murray for the remainder of the season due to a devastating left ACL injury it seemed like all hope was lost. Well, Facu Campazzo had other ideas as he slotted into the starting lineup for Murray and the Nuggets did not miss a beat. Sure, it wasn't the same as having a superstar like Murray on the floor, but Campazzo held his own and played a massive role in the Nuggets making it to the Western Conference Semifinals.

Campazzo started at point guard in 15 of the Nuggets last 16 regular season games and started all but one of Denver’s 10 playoff games. Not only was Campazzo a steadying force for the Nuggets offense, but his defensive tenacity was on full display each and every time he was on the floor.

Because of his electric play, Campazzo fell just shy of being named NBA All-Rookie Second Team, which is a honor that definitely should have gone his way. Even though he came up just shy, the fact that Campazzo was almost named to the All-Rookie team proves the positive impact he had on this Nuggets team all season long.

Facu Campazzo 2020-21 per game stats

Campazzo averaged 6.1 points, 3.6 assists, and 2.1 rebounds per game in 65 games. Not only did he make the most of his 21.9 minutes per game average, but Campazzo also contributed 1.2 steals per game along with a 35 percent three-point shooting percentage and 38 percent field goal percentage.

What Happened

Campazzo did an exceptional job all season of getting under opposing players skin. Whether he was matched up against Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, or even someone like Steph Curry, Campazzo feared no man and gave it his all against each and every superstar he went up against. Campazzo wasn't always successful in those matchups, but one thing that never came into question was his heart and determination.

2021 NBA Playoffs - Phoenix Suns v Denver Nuggets Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

No matter who the matchup was Campazzo took it head on and brought that same approach to the offensive end of the floor. Campazzo never tried to do to much as he always stayed within himself, which made him a perfect match in the starting lineup next to Nikola Jokic. Campazzo was most effective when he was able to knock down three-pointers because it helped the Nuggets space the floor and gave them another shooter that defenses had to account for.

Campazzo got better from three as the season went on as he shot 34 percent from three in the playoffs and was a scorching 45.5 percent from three in the Phoenix Suns series. As long as Campazzo can continue to find his rhythm offensively, his defense will take care of itself which will allow him to continue and have a role on this Nuggets team next season and beyond.

Best Moment — Between the legs dime to Monte Morris

For a player as electric as Campazzo, there are a ton of plays to choose from. This one really stood out though cause it was Campazzo’s first real “wow” moment in the NBA. It was just under a month into the regular season when Campazzo made this pass against the Oklahoma City Thunder and you could tell it really gave him confidence from that point on.

Campazzo was just trying to find his footing in the NBA over the first month of the season, but once he made this play he truly never looked back. The confidence Campazzo played with over the corresponding months made him look like a seasoned veteran as opposed to a rookie and it’s a big reason why the Nuggets were so successful in the second half of the season.

Player Grade — A-

It’s hard for me to give Campazzo anything lower than an A. Even though he showed some deficiencies throughout the season in terms of making consistent shots and matching up against bigger guards, Campazzo still played far and above his expectations during his rookie season.

2021 NBA Playoffs - Phoenix Suns v Denver Nuggets Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

At one point in the year it felt like Campazzo could be out of the rotation completely, but he just found a way to stick around till his opportunity came calling. Once it did, Campazzo made the most of it as the Nuggets starting point guard to end the regular season on into the playoffs.

Offseason Outlook

Campazzo will be back with the Nuggets next season and Denver is going to need him big time to begin the season. With Murray likely to miss at least the first couple months of the season, It’s likely Campazzo could start or at least get consistent minutes like he did to close this past year.

It will be awesome to see Campazzo play for his home country of Argentina in the Olympics next month so that is something to look forward to as well. For a veteran player like Campazzo I have no worries about him being tired next season even after a shortened offseason because of the Olympics. Campazzo has been a pro for a very long time and there is no doubt he’ll be ready to rock once the 2021-22 season begins.