Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone felt bad for Will Barton after the home fans booed him in Game 2.
After scoring 15 points in the Denver’s Game 1 loss, Barton stunk up the joint with just three points on 1-of-10 shooting — including 0-of-6 from 3-point distance — in Game 2. The 28-year-old swingman was then consistently booed by the home crowd for his performance.
Malone, however, didn’t like what their fans did to Barton and pointed out that it didn’t help him.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone on Denver home crowd during Game 2 win over Spurs: "I really felt bad when they started booing Will Barton. That's not going to help him make a shot." pic.twitter.com/cNST6PHMz3
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) April 17, 2019
Will Barton isn’t exactly a playoff-tested player. Prior to the playoff series against the Spurs, his only taste of postseason basketball was with the Portland Trail Blazers during the 2013-14 NBA season. He averaged 6.4 points on 50 percent shooting in a combined seven games against the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs that year.
It’s safe to say the seven-year veteran is still adjusting to NBA playoff basketball. After all, this is only his second time in the postseason.
However, Malone makes a valid point: players are human too. Nuggets fans getting on Barton’s case in Game 2 won’t help him improve as the series wears on.
Perhaps Barton can use the booing as motivation from here on out. He’s an integral part of this Nuggets team which won 54 games during the regular season. Had it not been for Barton’s exploits, it’s hard to imagine Denver making the playoffs for the first time in six years.
Despite Barton’s poor performance, four of his teammates scored at least 20 points in the Nuggets’ 114-105 win over the Spurs. The series is now tied at one game apiece.