Opportunity can arrive quickly and in unexpected forms in professional sports. In the span of a few minutes, a player can go from benchwarmer to key rotation cog. That’s what happened to Trey Lyles on Nov. 19 against the Los Angeles Lakers. Starting power forward Paul Millsap went down with a left wrist injury, which would eventually require surgery. Suddenly, a player who’d logged double-digit minutes in a Nuggets uniform just once until that point was asked to step up.

Lyles helped keep Denver afloat in Millsap’s absence. In the 44 games Millsap missed, Lyles averaged 13.0 points on 49.8 percent shooting, 6.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists. After two rocky seasons in Utah, he developed into a dangerous weapon off the bench for Denver with his versatile offensive skill set.

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Christian Clark

Christian Clark is an Arlington, Texas, native who covers the Denver Nuggets for BSN Denver. Education: I graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism in December 2014 with an emphasis in print and digital news. Career: My work has been featured in the Fort Worth-Star Telegram, The Oklahoman and Columbia Missourian, and online at TexasFootball.com and Denverite.com. I came aboard at BSN Denver in November 2017. Most memorable sports moment: Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals. The finest sports book I’ve ever read: Friday Night Lights by Buzz Bissinger. One sports movie I can’t live without: Tin Cup, do not @ me Most memorable experience as a reporter: The quadruple-OT game between the Nuggets and Trail Blazers. The sport that started it all: Basketball. My sports-watching memories kick in with those early-2000s Dallas Mavericks teams. They had bad hair and scored a lot of points. Shout-out to Nellie Ball.