The Denver Nuggets appear to be getting some much-needed reinforcements ahead of Game 2 against the Phoenix Suns. Guard Will Barton is expected to make his return Wednesday night barring any setbacks during warmups, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Barton has been sidelined since April 23 with a hamstring injury, and on the most recent injury report he's been upgraded to questionable for the first time in the postseason.
Getting Barton back in the lineup would be a huge lift for a Denver team that has been incredibly thin in the backcourt in the postseason. Not only are they without star point guard Jamal Murray, who tore his ACL toward the end of the regular season, but PJ Dozier has also been sidelined for the entirety of the postseason with an adductor injury.
Barton provides the Nuggets with another offensive threat, and gives recent MVP winner Nikola Jokic another teammate to dish it to out of the post for a spot-up jumper. While Barton's averaging the lowest points since his first year in Denver back in 2014, his presence on the floor takes some of the attention off Jokic and Michael Porter Jr., who have been carrying the workload on offense for the Nuggets throughout the playoffs.
During the regular season Barton shot a career-high 38.1 percent from deep, while averaging 12.7 points, four rebounds and 3.2 assists.
It's possible that Barton could be on a minutes restriction in his first game back, given his long absence from the court, but even if he is, having him back at all is a boost for the Nuggets who will look to even the series against the Suns before the series heads to Denver for game 3.