Nuggets news: Michael Malone sends strong message to Denver players
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Michael Malone sends strong message to Nuggets’ players after recent struggles

Michael Malone, Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets (41-20) currently sit in the no. 3 seed in the Western Conference playoff picture and have won six of their past 10 games. Still, head coach Michael Malone is not satisfied with the team’s recent play—and voiced his displeasure with their defensive effort in the wake of a 116-100 home loss to the league-worst Golden State Warriors in a game in which the Dubs shot 51.2%.

For the season, the Nuggets are 12th in the league in Defensive Rating (109.0), and have surrendered the 8th-fewest points per game. However, the team’s defensive execution has slipped recently. They’ve been amongst the worst defensive units in the Association since the All-Star break—an issue Malone reportedly tried to diagnose with a thorough film session.

It’s not the first time Malone has criticized the Nuggets for their lack of defensive effort in 2020. He said their “defense sucks” after a loss to the Washington Wizards in January, and also ripped his team after a 132-103 loss to the L.A. Clippers on Feb. 28, calling his squad “soft..from beginning to end.”

Malone is clearly not satisfied with his team, but he’s also looking to prevent any complacency and bad habits from forming in the weeks before the playoffs get underway.

The Nuggets will have an opportunity to respond to Malone’s motivational tactics on Wednesday as they travel to Charlotte to face the Hornets (21-40), who boast the league’s 29th-ranked offense this season.