DENVER — Nuggets coach Michael Malone needed someone to step in at backup point guard when the struggling Emmanuel Mudiay went down with an ankle injury in mid-December. Malone didn't have a third point guard to lean on after Denver parted ways with veteran Jameer Nelson at the start of the season. Without many options, Malone addressed the issue by hammering a square peg into a round hole, sliding Will Barton over to point guard.
Barton, who's more of a scorer than distributor by nature, has been at backup point guard ever since. The results of that experiment have been mixed.
Since Dec. 18, Barton is averaging 4.8 assists per game. That's second on the team behind Nikola Jokic. Barton has done an admirable job of setting his teammates up. At the same time, he's struggled to get himself going. In his last 14 games, he's averaging 11.6 points on 35.9 percent shooting.
On Monday, Barton said he is still trying to strike the proper balance between getting others good shots and getting himself good shots.