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Nuggets’ shocking status won’t please Nikola Jokic

Nuggets, Nikola Jokic, Michael Malone

The Denver Nuggets were one of the best teams in the NBA last season, thanks in large part to Nikola Jokic’s MVP play. However, Michael Malone is growing concerned about the team’s current level of play.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the Nuggets season opener against the Phoenix Suns next week, the Denver head coach admitted they are not yet ready. In fact, he went as far as to saying that they are not a “very good team right now” just based on what he has seen from the team during the preseason and practices.

“It’s everything,” Malone said when asked what the Nuggets need to work on an improve heading to the 2021-22 season, per Mike Singer of the Denver Post. “We’re just not a very good team right now. No organization, too many blown sets, too many blown coverages, lack of communication, too many turnovers, sloppy, throwing the ball all over the place, starters got beat today because they had 15 turnovers and the other team only had five.”

For what it’s worth, the Nuggets went 0-4 during the preseason, which certainly would anger any coach of a competitive team with title aspirations. Of course it’s only the preseason and it’s not a big deal, but Michael Malone’s concerns extends past their record but more on how they played.

As the veteran NBA coach pointed out, they don’t communicate at all–which is a great recipe for disaster and a losing season.

“We have a very, very, very, very quiet group,” Malone added. “We spend more time bitching and complaining to the officials, where no one has a problem talking, but we can’t get ourselves organized, we can’t get ourselves into an offense.”

There are high expectations for the Nuggets in 2021-22, especially given the talent they have. While Jamal Murray is expected to be out for a huge chunk of the season, they still have Nikola Jokic leading the way.

Not to mention that Michael Porter Jr. is projected to have a breakout year with a bigger role waiting for him.

Nonetheless, as Malone said, fans might have to tone expectations for a bit given the current status of the squad.