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Mile High Sports

Fournier shows Karl why he deserves playing time

In a bit of a surprise, rookie Evan Fournier was chosen by teammates to hit the final two free throws to end practice.

And it might be his way into getting playing time.

While the Denver Nuggets have arguably the deepest roster in the NBA, head coach George Karl has a simple philosophy on how to get on the floor.

“Don’t make mistakes and play defense,” Karl said after practice on Monday.

One mistake: Missing free throws.

The team concluded Monday’s practice by running sprints, and had to sink six-consecutive free throws to end the running.

Danilo Gallinari and Andre Miller were selected to shoot the first four, and they calmly knocked them down.

Then, the team called on its rookie Frenchman.

Fournier, 19, walked up to the line and both shots hit nothing but net to spare the team from any more sprints.

Last season the Nuggets ranked 25 out of 30 in free-throw percentage at 73.5 percent.

Gallinari led the team shooting 92 percent, and Miller was the only other player to shoot above 80 percent.

With the depth in front of him it will be difficult for Fournier to get significant minutes, but making clutch free throws could be his foot in the proverbial door.

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