We have officially entered the Bones Hyland era, Denver Nuggets fans. Now that Hyland is in the rotation and playing every night, he has truly emerged as a fan favorite. On Friday night against the Atlanta Hawks, he perfected his role as a spark off the bench, scoring 15 points on 5-10 shooting to go along with 6 rebounds and 4 assists. A few games ago, however, Hyland was struggling to find his rhythm offensively. Against the Houston Rockets, he shot 1-7 from the field in his 15 minutes. According to a tweet from Altitude’s Katy Winge while covering that game, Will Barton took it amongst himself to lift Hyland’s spirits during a timeout. Hyland retweeted Winge’s report later that night in order to give fans a glimpse into the developing relationship between he and the longest tenured Nugget.

It’s been clear since before the season started that Barton and Hyland have forged a special bond that goes beyond basketball. To see this play out in the midst of a game while Hyland is just starting to earn a spot in the rotation is pretty cool. There is no better player for Hyland to learn from than Barton, who has definitely been through ups-and-downs in his career but consistently remains a team player and hard worker. Between Hyland’s positive attitude and the wisdom that is being imparted on him by Barton and other veterans, it’s no wonder that he’s playing at a level far beyond his years. If that continues, then we are in for a treat this season, Nuggets fans.