The days became months and years and Anthony Randolph was beginning to square himself with the fact that a legitimate chance to play significant minutes might never come again.

So forgive him if he was a little skeptical when new Nuggets coach Brian Shaw arrived in town preaching competition all over the court.

But a funny thing happened: Shaw wasn't playing. The competition was on. And because of that something else is happening: Randolph is playing himself into the lineup.

He arguably has been the biggest surprise of camp though he'll tell you he has always had it in him. Signed by the Nuggets in 2012 for depth he's making a serious push to be in the regular rotation when the season begins in eight days.

"There's a logjam at our 'big' position" Shaw said. "But he's one of the guys I would say is making the most of his opportunity."

And Randolph is doing it partly in one of the most unexpected ways — by shooting the ball and shooting it well.

"Anthony Randolph ... Most people probably wouldn't believe it but he's probably been our most consistent outside shooter throughout camp" Shaw said.

Randolph's jump shot was on display in the Nuggets' preseason loss against the L.A. Clippers on Saturday. He made 50 percent on his jump shot attempts including 4-of-6 from top of the key and out to around 18 feet. Randolph who was used primarily as a power forward or center under former coach George Karl insists he's not a fish out of water now that he's playing big minutes on the perimeter.

"I'm probably more comfortable out there than I am in the post" Randolph said.

His versatility has been his biggest benefit. Ask the 6-foot-11 225-pound Randolph what his primary position is and he smiles and says "basketball." Ask Shaw and he says "I don't know what his natural position is."