Now that the Denver Nuggets’ season is over, it’s time for me to admit one of my mistakes. I wanted to give up on starting shooting guard Randy Foye when the Nuggets were struggling and he was shooting 27.8 percent in December.
Foye became a Nugget as a free agent last offseason. Before that, he had set Utah Jazz records for three-point attempts and three-point makes in a season. Nuggets fans were expecting swish after swish from the new sharpshooter, but there was quite an “adjustment” period.
There is no denying Foye struggled while adapting to Brian Shaw’s system. In the first month of the 2013-2014 season, he only shot 37 percent from long range and 73.9 percent from the free throw line. That means Quincy Miller, Andre Miller, Nate Robinson and Ty Lawson (in order of percentage) shot better than the supposed “three-point shooter.”
It got worse in December as Foye couldn’t throw a brick into the ocean. In December, he was the seventh-best three-point shooter by percentage on the Nuggets. He had the worst three-point percentage out of all Nuggets who averaged more than one three-point attempt per game.
Then something beautiful happened: Foye got comfortable and he got his confidence back. Starting in January, the Nuggets got the shooter they wanted as only Nate Robinson shot a higher three-point percentage than Foye’s 39.6 percent. Considering Robinson’s ACL injury and the fact Foye shot a team high 7.2 three-point attempts a game (Robinson shot 3.7 per game), it’s clear Foye is currently the best shooter on the Nuggets roster.
Foye was consistent too. In a season the roster got decimated by injuries, he played in 81 of 82 games. Only Timofey Mozgov played in all 82. He became someone the Nuggets relied on and even played point guard when both Lawson and Robinson were hurt. It wasn’t pretty, but it proved Brian Shaw had faith in his eldest veteran.
That faith was strong enough for Shaw to run a few last second plays for Foye, and Foye delivered with the Nuggets’ best shot of the year. I’m not the only one who’ll remember Foye’s game-winning bomb to clinch a victory against the Los Angeles Clippers in Denver.
Even with the buzzer-beaters he made, Foye wasn’t getting any headlines. No one in the media (myself included) featured him when he started to deliver on his sharpshooter reputation. Even with the poor play early on, Foye only finished three makes short of the Nuggets’ single season three-point record. So, I was definitely wrong when I wanted to give up on Randy Foye in December, but his play from January on gives me enough faith to say Randy Foye will break that record next year.