Denver Nuggets starting shooting guard Gary Harris is listed as questionable on the team’s official injury report ahead of Monday night’s matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers. Nuggets’ coach Michael Malone told reporters in Portland that Harris will be a game-time decision, via Altitude’s Christopher Dempsey.
UPDATE (6:40 p.m. MST): At his pregame availability, Malone said Harris will not play against the Trail Blazers.
Harris, who developed right shoulder soreness following Denver’s win Thursday over the Oklahoma City Thunder, did not play in the Nuggets’ 125-107 win over the Orlando Magic on Saturday. In his place, sixth-man Will Barton started and scored 26 points on 8-12 shooting, grabbed nine rebounds, and handed out five assists in 38 minutes.
While Harris made the trip to Portland he told BSN Denver that he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to play versus the Trail Blazers. However, he doesn’t expect to miss an extended amount of time with the injury and was feeling better after getting treatment on Saturday.
Barton will again start in Harris’ place.
Forward Juancho Hernangomez, who missed the Nuggets’ last ten games with mono before logging two minutes of garbage time against the Magic, isn’t expected to return to Denver’s regular rotation until he can go through a full practice. Denver had an off-day Sunday and flew to Portland that afternoon.
“That was more because I didn’t want Wilson Chandler to collapse. I played those guys so many minutes,” Malone said of Hernangomez’s two minutes Saturday night. “Juancho hasn’t practiced, hasn’t really done anything, so I wasn’t going to play him meaningful minutes. That was just so we could get our starters out.”
After playing 13 combined minutes in the Nuggets’ first two games of the regular-season, tests revealed that Hernangomez contracted the illness and was declared out indefinitely.
Nuggets visit Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers (6-6) have dropped two in a row with their latest loss coming in a four-point defeat at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets on Friday. In the loss, Jusuf Nurkic scored 21 points on 10-20 shooting, 11 of which came in the first quarter.
But Portland coach Terry Stotts opted to play reserve big man Ed Davis instead of Nurkic in the fourth quarter resulting in questions from the Portland media on the decision.
“Honestly, the game against Brooklyn we were down seven and I went with Ed and we went from down seven to up five,” Stotts said via The Oregonian. “With five minutes to go, I decided to stay with Ed because we had made a nice run with him in the game. It wasn’t so much about Nurk.”
Nurkic, who wasn’t available for comment in the Trail Blazers’ locker room after the game and later said at practice that he was getting treatment on his sore lower back, downplayed the situation.
“I respect coach’s decision,” said Nurkic, again via The Oregonian, who only played 53 seconds in the fourth quarter. “And to be honest, I never have a better coach than Stotts. So, there’s (not) anything wrong.”