Barring something bonkers, Michael Malone has a playoff team — the Denver Nuggets’ first postseason bunch since 2013 — on his hands. With the long view in mind, the Nuggets’ coach admitted Sunday afternoon that he’s considering shutting guard Gary Harris down until after the all-star break.
“Knowing that no one has said, ‘He’s out until after the all-star break,’ but I mean — in my mind, I’m thinking that it’s probably the most prudent decision to make,” Malone said of the Nuggets’ shooting guard, who’s currently day to day with groin issues. “You (think), ‘Hey, let’s rush him back for Miami,’ and then …”
With the Nuggets staring at home contests up next against Miami (on Monday) and Sacramento (on Wednesday) before the All-Star Game in Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday, Malone said the temptation would be strong to rest Harris, who has battled hamstring and adductor problems in recent weeks, rather than risk long-term damage. Harris hasn’t played this month and shot just .393 from the floor and averaged 11.3 points in January.
“Gary Harris has had a very un-Gary-Harris-like season because of the injuries,” the coach said of the veteran off guard, who didn’t fully participate in all facets of Sunday’s practice. “And because you’re in and you’re out, there’s no consistency.