The Denver Nuggets took Game 1 of the 2023 NBA Finals in convincing fashion, picking up a 104-93 victory over the Miami Heat to take a quick 1-0 series lead. Despite the nice victory, Michael Malone doesn't want his team to get too proud about picking up one win in a series that requires you to win four times.
It was an all-around solid outing from the Nuggets, who received solid contributions behind star outings from Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray once again. But Malone delivered a passionate speech after the game to make sure that Denver doesn't lose focus, because if there's one team that certainly won't lose focus on the other side of things, it's the Heat.
“We’re up 1-0, congratulations, we haven’t done a damn thing. Our goal wasn’t to win 1 game in the Finals, our goal is to win 3 more.”
Nuggets head coach Michael Malone in the locker room after his team defeated the Heat in Game 1 🗣️
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 3, 2023
Malone has been reinforcing this sort of message to his team all throughout the postseason, and one win in the Finals isn't going to change anything. Typically you see a coach be a bit more grateful to have picked up the first win in a series, but Malone delivers an unusually fired up message to keep his team locked in, despite the fact that they controlled Game 1 pretty much the entire way through.
The Nuggets will have a chance to take a 2-0 series lead and protect their home court in Game 2 when these two teams return to action on Sunday night, and you can bet Malone will have them fired up for this game. Malone's inspirational messages may have helped Denver make it this far, but he will face his most difficult task yet in leading the Nuggets to three more wins against the Heat.