The Denver Nuggets have played quality basketball recently, which does not come as a shock given the presence of Nikola Jokic and a talented, albeit young, rotation of characters. However, the team has been functioning at less than full strength for more than three months, as veteran forward Paul Millsap went under the knife for wrist surgery after suffering a torn ligament back on Nov. 19.
In advance of Tuesday’s game between the Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers, there was some buzz that Millsap could return to action. Before he was formally cleared to take the floor, the 33-year-old displayed real emotion at the thought of a comeback.
Then, moments before tip-off, Millsap received the green light (in the form of an official welcome video) after warming up without incident.
Millsap signed a lucrative contract to bolster Denver’s frontcourt in the offseason but, before the injury, the All-Star appeared in only 16 games to varying success. For now, it appears that Millsap will be in a reduced role as he progresses but, at his maximum level, the former Atlanta Hawks standout should act as a strong complement to Jokic with his defensive ability and versatility and that is a skill set that the Nuggets can certainly use at this juncture.
In typical fashion for his career, Millsap’s return will not be marked with the fanfare of a “normal” four-time All-Star but the Nuggets add a big-time piece in late February as they make a run toward the postseason.