Nuggets coach Michael Malone not sweating 3-1 deficit vs. Lakers after coming back vs. ‘odds-on favorite’ Clippers
The Nuggets are in a familiar spot, so head coach Michael Malone isn’t fazed:
“No, not at all. We’ve been here twice, and we’ve answered the call.” said Malone according to The Denver Post’s Mike Singer. “To be honest, in the second round against the Clippers, they were the odds-on favorite to win the whole thing ahead of the Lakers.”
To be fair, Malone and the Nuggets’ résumé speaks volumes. Against the Utah Jazz in the first round, the series could’ve gone to either club. No one imagined the Nuggets to fall behind 3-1 to the Jazz, but the comeback and eventual erase of the deficit was monumental.
Against the Los Angeles Clippers, however, the Nuggets were the heavy underdog. From the beginning of the season, the predestined matchup in the Western Conference Finals was the Battle of Los Angeles. Denver still pulled off the historic upset.
While Malone is fully confident in his Nuggets after what they’ve done already, coming back from down 3-1 for a third straight series seems impossible, especially against this team. The Clippers may have been considered the favorite by some, but the Lakers have been mostly rolling throughout these playoffs. LeBron James is undefeated when up 3-1 in a playoff series through his entire career. Anthony Davis has been a monster all playoffs. Rajon Rondo has returned from his injuries and has proven to be a huge piece for Los Angeles.
The Nuggets will need Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and the supporting cast to come up big in order to pull off another miracle. They’ll also need a bit of luck. While it’s a tall order, don’t count out this resilient Denver squad.