So About Jan Vesely’s Debut With the Nuggets… (But There Were Smiles)
A day after being traded Jan Vesely made his debut with the Denver Nuggets, in Chicago, with a continued initiation to the NBA against one of the league’s toughest teams (if not the toughest). Like that mattered. Jan was a free bird. If I had to pick a type of bird, it would be the European common seagull. But hey, he’s flying, and smiling.
Jan Vesely was eating lunch when his agent called. The Nuggets and Wizards were negotiating a trade that would bring him to the Mile High City.
“I was like ‘alright, that’s nice,’” said Vesely, a 7-0, 242-pound power forward from the Czech Republic. “I was real excited. But I didn’t expect it at first.”
I initially missed Vesely’s 2:39 of action in the first half and went back to watch his select plays. His first bucket as a Nugget came by tipping in an Aaron Brooks long-distance miss as the final seconds of the second quarter ticked away. After the make, Jan went stumbling backwards toward fans in row one, but caught himself before spilling any beers. Vesely also grabbed a defensive rebound with two teammates around him during his first-half run.
Vesely was inserted for Kenneth Faried with 1:10 left in the third quarter, and with Denver down 25 points to the Bulls 36 minutes, Brian Shaw left Vesely in for the entire fourth quarter. A chance.
His first act: A tangled-up slap-rebound against Taj Gibson.
But then Vesely said, ‘Hey, league, I will show you. Hey, Randall F. Wittman, I will show you! I will post up. I will catch the ball from teammates who are like, Who is this guy? and who don’t know that they can throw a lob to me despite my constant pointing to Air Wolves in the sky. I will be, Jan Vesely.’
And so Jan Vesely was Jan Vesely, but with tons of earnest attempts to be more aggressive. He posted up Taj Gibson, missed a tough shot. He missed a close range baby right hook shot with Joakim Noah in the vicinity. He shot a forced post turnaround that was tip-airballed by Erik Murphy. He even missed his first three free throw attempts before making one. It was semi-tough to watch.
Vesely looked dog-tired from playing all of the fourth quarter but ended the night on a positive note by dropping in a lefty hook over the NCAA’s all-time leader in blocked shots, Jarvis Varnado. All of the action is covered in Vines below.
JaVale McGee may be out for the year, and Vesely may now be the second-tallest Nugget after Timofey Mozgov, but he could soon find himself just as buried on the bench
in Denver as he was in Washington. The Nuggets also have J.J. Hickson, Kenneth Faried, Anthony Randolph, and Darrell Arthur in play for frontcourt rotation time.
But hey, new life in Denver where who knows what will happens with a team that will likely miss the playoffs (the Nuggets are currently seven games out of seed eight). They will get Ty Lawson back at some point, but Danilo Gallinari and Nate Robinson are also out for the season.
And so the Air Wolf Episodes continues… Just one game. Just a debut. Just a new territory in an unfamiliar land. Just Jan Vesely.
vs. Taj Gibson.
vs. Joakim Noah.
Jan Vesely things.
vs. Erik Murphy.
But seriously, Vesely barely bends his knees on free throws. You have to be kidding me.
Oh, free throws…… But a make!
End the Night vs. Jarvis Varnado