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BBNBA: Jarred Vanderbilt Makes His Nuggets Debut

(Source: Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images North America)

(Source: Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images North America)

Good afternoon, folks. Jarred Vanderbilt played his first NBA minutes on Friday night and it was magical… Let’s talk NBA.


[23-25] Hornets – 99 @ [35-12] Bucks – 108

  • The Charlotte Hornets played three great quarters against the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks, but couldn’t get it done in the one that mattered the most. The Hornets were up 12 with under 10 minutes left in the game before the Bucks went on an 11-0 run to make things interesting and ultimately win the game. Charlotte was outscored 32-12 in the fourth period.
  • Micahel Kidd-Gilchrist played an outstanding game, registering 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 25 minutes. Malik Monk, on the other hand, had another tough outing for the Hornets. Monk was held scoreless on 0-5 shooting from the field in 12 minutes.
  • For the Bucks, Eric Bledsoe continues to build his case for making an All-Star team after he posted 18 points, four rebounds, and three assists. Expect to hear more on Bledsoe from me in the near future.

[11-40] Suns – 95 @ [32-15] Nuggets – 132

  • Let’s skip straight to the juicy news in this one. Jarred Vanderbilt made his NBA debut during the final three minutes of the Nuggets blowout win over the lowly Phoenix Suns. It may have come during garbage minutes, but every second was beautiful. Vando recorded one point off a made free throw, three rebounds, an unreal full-court bounce pass for an assist that I will show in a moment, and a steal for good measure.

  • Vanderbilt has been sidelined with nagging foot/ankle injuries that forced him to miss the majority of his one season at Kentucky and the entire first half of the NBA season. We saw how special he could potentially be during his impressive 14-game run as a Wildcat, but it was satisfying to watch him do it against NBA talent. If he can ever get 100 percent healthy, he’s going to look like a second-round steal for an already loaded Nuggets bench. I am incredibly confident that Vanderbilt’s abilities and skillset would thrive to measures beyond my comprehension in the modern NBA.
  • But back to the blowout. Jamal Murray rolled the same ankle that has been bothering him for a few weeks now and didn’t return to the game. However, Nuggets head coach Mike Malone said that Murray is fine and there was no reason to bring him back in with the game already decided. He still finished with 13 points. Trey Lyles contributed 12 points and six rebounds, as well. Eight different Nuggets topped double-digits in scoring.
  • For Phoenix, Devin Booker led the BBNBA in scoring with 35 points and it didn’t even matter. Phoenix scored only 40 points in the second half as Denver absolutely gutted them from the opening tip. That’s now seven losses in a row for the Suns. They seriously suck, but we already know this. Just get Booker into the All-Star game, please.

Other notes

  • De’Aaron Fox hit the game-winning shot for the Sacramento Kings in a 99-96 victory over the struggling Memphis Grizzlies. This was must-win for the Kings, in reality. The Grizzlies are in unofficial tank mode right now and can’t win a game to save their lives (and I don’t think management wants them to). The Kings had dropped two games in a row before this and would have fallen to under .500 with the loss. Now, they’re only two games back of the sixth spot in the West. On top of his game-winner, Fox added 22 points, six rebounds, and five assists while Willie Cauley-Stein dropped in 11 points, six rebounds, and five steals in 30 minutes.

  • Karl-Anthony Towns went off for 33 points in a close loss to the surging Utah Jazz. It was the second game of a back-to-back for the Timberwolves and the loss kills their three-game winning streak. But, they’ll get another shot at the Jazz on Sunday to bring themselves back to .500 and well within range of the playoffs. Towns also pulled in 10 rebounds for his 32nd double-double of the season while dishing out four assists and blocking three shots.

  • In injury news, Isaiah Briscoe sat out on Friday to nurse an injured right ankle he sprained during his most recent game against the Brooklyn Nets. The injury isn’t expected to keep Briscoe out for long, which is great news considering he’s currently playing the best basketball of his career.
  • Check out the full stat sheet below.


PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Devin Booker (PHX)95-132 L @ DEN359-19 (2-4)42004-2030
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)102-106 L @ UTA3312-19 (2-5)104133+1128
De'Aaron Fox (SAC)99-96 W @ MEM228-17 (1-3)65107-535
Eric Bledsoe (MIL)108-99 W vs. CHA187-16 (0-7)43112+1230
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)99-108 L @ MIL16 6-11 (0-2)72202-1125
Jamal Murray (DEN)132-95 W vs. PHX135-9 (3-5)25000+1723
Trey Lyles (DEN)132-95 W vs. PHX125-13 (2-3)60101+1022
Willie Cauley-Stein (SAC)99-96 W @ MEM115-9 (0-0)62511+630
Bam Adebayo (MIA)100-94 W @ CLE82-4 (0-0)81202-1325
Kevin Knox (NYK)99-109 L @ BKN72-11 (0-4)40204-424
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (LAC)106-101 W @ CHI62-6 (0-2)05002-721
Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)132-95 W vs. PHX10-031101+63
Malik Monk (CHA)99-108 L @ MIL00-5 (0-1)32002+712
Enes Kanter (NYK)99-109 L @ BKNDNP-CD----------------
Skal Labissiere (SAC)99-96 W @ MEMDNP-CD----------------
Isaiah Briscoe (ORL)91-95 L vs. WASDNP-Ankle----------------
Brandon Knight (HOU)121-119 W @ TORDNP-Knee----------------
John Wall (WAS)95-91 W @ ORLDNP-Heel----------------


6:00: Spurs @ Pelicans (Davis, Miller, Randle)

8:00: Pacers @ Grizzlies

8:30 (ABC): Warriors (Cousins) @ Celtics

9:00: 76ers @ Nuggets (Lyles, Murray, Vanderbilt)

10:00: Hawks (Poythress-out) @ Trail Blazers

Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Recruiting reporter for KSR. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR

15 Comments for BBNBA: Jarred Vanderbilt Makes His Nuggets Debut

  1. mashburnfan1
    3:50 pm January 26, 2019 Permalink

    Not sure I would say nice to see him play NBA players, it was the Suns. Fox has become my fave player, wish he played in the East so I could go to more of his games.

  2. Smyrna_Cat
    4:17 pm January 26, 2019 Permalink

    I just happened to turn the game on and see Vanderbilt play … I had to do a double-take to make sure it was him! That was so nice to see, an to get 3 rebounds in 4 minutes. Very cool.

  3. sprtphan
    4:37 pm January 26, 2019 Permalink

    Never been so done with a player than him. Spare me the details.

    • No more excuses cal
      4:49 pm January 26, 2019 Permalink

      Who cares he did nothing but use the program for his own agenda. He is a prime example of players first

    • KayutsBy90
      5:03 pm January 26, 2019 Permalink

      Where have you been no more excuses Cal? Feel like we haven’t heard from you in a while. It’s been nice

    • bigbluebanana
      5:35 pm January 26, 2019 Permalink

      Thanks for reading an NBA post, then telling us you don’t want to read an NBA post. I’ve never been more done with fans than I am with you and folks like no more excuses. Get over yourselves.

    • sprtphan
      5:55 pm January 26, 2019 Permalink

      Didn’t read it. Just saw the headline. All I needed to know.

    • michaelb
      8:20 pm January 26, 2019 Permalink

      Haha blue bandana

    • Smyrna_Cat
      5:53 pm January 26, 2019 Permalink

      Geez. If you’re done with him don’t read it. Don’t complain just to complain.

    • wyatts1
      6:34 pm January 26, 2019 Permalink

      I feel the same way about vando, he could’ve been so much more to our program and the fans. But most seen through the one and done swagger and realized he was only about himself. Seem’d like he had zero heart while he was in that UK jersey as well.

  4. eyebleedblue
    6:03 pm January 26, 2019 Permalink

    I hope the coaches got his entourage’s permission for him to play. Hope he does well.

  5. Kentucky Gentleman
    6:05 pm January 26, 2019 Permalink

    I completely forgot Vanderbilt existed until I saw this.

  6. tdub
    8:54 pm January 26, 2019 Permalink

    Good update on former cats. Keep it up

  7. catdaddyd
    9:43 pm January 26, 2019 Permalink

    I didn’t remember Vanderbilt having a bunch of tats.

  8. dismore
    11:05 am January 27, 2019 Permalink