Denver Nuggets: 2017-18 player grades for Paul Millsap

Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images /
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Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images /


Capable of taking over a game as he did many times in with the Atlanta Hawks, Millsap provides an impact on offense. A prototypical stretch-4 in today’s NBA, Millsap has added the 3-point ball to his arsenal while also still being able to play on the block and create a shot within the mid-range areas. He’s also a weapon in pick-and-roll situations.

While no chemistry has yet to be seen with rising star Nikola Jokic due to their limited time together, Millsap was able to play off the ball more while benefiting from having one of the best (if not the best) passing big men of the NBA feeding him the ball and attracting some of the focus normally affixed to a player of Millsap’s ability.

In 38 games, Millsap showed his effectiveness in the lineup providing an offensive rating increase (+4.3) while on the court for the Nuggets, along with a decrease in opponent effective field goal percentage (from 54.3 percent to 52.8) and defensive rating.

Beyond Millsap’s obvious contributions on offense and defense, the veteran leadership is something that cannot be overlooked. On a team full of numerous breakout stars in their early 20s looking to make a name for themselves, Millsap’s leadership played a pivotal role in keeping the Nuggets’ hopes alive after the season came down to a win-or-go-home finale to make the playoffs.

In the final 10 games of the season, Millsap displayed poise and awareness of the task at hand, upping his season averages in points and rebounds and propelling the Nuggets to win the last eight of 11 games. A veteran still able to command the basketball late in games and draw the defense in while opening up shots for the young players on the wing, Millsap’s impact is slightly distorted due to the injury-laden season. A full season in Denver will provide more answers in predicting Millsap’s consistency in 2018 and beyond.