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Nuggets coach Michael Malone excited about European duo

Michael Malone

Following the Denver Nuggets 108-106 preseason win against the Toronto Raptors on Monday, head coach Michael Malone was full of praise for his European big man combination of Jusuf Nurkic and Nikola Jokic, as per Harrison Wind of BSN Denver.

“There’s definitely some Balkan buddy ball going on with those two guys,” said Malone. “They do look for each other which is great. They’re so skilled and the great thing about Nikola is he can space the floor to three, so it’s not like we have two guys that are stuck on the block which takes away driving lanes from our perimeter players. The floor is open.”

In the modern age of basketball, almost every team has adopted a small-ball style of play and it has become extremely rare for teams to put multiple big men on the floor together. Malone feels as though some trends don’t matter when your big men are as diverse and skilled as his are.

“A lot of people say you can’t play two bigs together,” Malone said. “We disagree. We think we have two special bigs that can play together because you can space the floor with them and you can play through them in the post on the high post and even on the elbows.”

The 7-foot Bosnian Nurkic averaged 8.2 points, 1.3 assists and 5.5 rebounds during the 2015-2016 season. His Serbian teammate Jokic contributed with 10 points, 7 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

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