LAS VEGAS — Monte Morris entered NBA Summer League with the understanding that it was an audition.
"My job is to go out ... and show everyone I can be a backup in this league and run a unit," he said last week.
Morris is aware of the gaping hole in Denver's rotation at point guard behind Jamal Murray, and if Friday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves was the first test then Morris nailed all his lines, hit the high and low chords, and showed he could boogie. Morris scored 15 points on 7-15 shooting and dished out four assists to only one turnover as Denver hung on for a 70-69 win.
Friday's game was not close until the end. The Nuggets led by double digits for most of the night and were up eight at halftime thanks largely to Morris, who scored 13 points across the first two quarters. He played well out of the pick and roll, probing into the teeth of the defense for crafty finishes and finding open teammates.
Morris, who spent his rookie season on a two-way deal, said he felt confident after receiving a pregame text from Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly.