Will Barton’s breakout surprised his own coach

Will Barton has arguably been Denver's best player this season.
Chris Humphreys

Denver Nuggets swingman Will Barton is truly having a breakout season. 

In his fourth year in the league, Barton has emerged onto the scene as one of the better two-way wings in the Western Conference.

Previously known primarily as an energy guy off the bench during his time with the Portland Trail Blazers, Barton has expanded his game in a big way this season for Denver. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard is averaging 15.8 points and 6 rebounds a game in a reserve role.

Barton is considered to be an early favorite for the Sixth Man of the Year award, which is something that his own coach, Michael Malone, didn't see coming.

Here's what Malone told Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post:

“I'd be lying if I said I saw that (coming), to be very honest,” Nuggets coach Mike Malone said. “I knew he would be a spark off the bench, with his energy, his passion, his pace at which he plays. He has an attack mentality.”

“I did not see him scoring the way he's scoring, and more important, how efficient he's scoring and shooting the ball,” Malone said.

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