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Mike Malone doesn’t ‘give a s***’ about Nuggets’ 4-0 start

Mike Malone, Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets have started the season 4-0 and are the only team to have beaten the mighty Golden State Warriors so far. As a result, the team has been receiving more national attention compared to past seasons.

Despite the hot start, though, Nuggets head coach Mike Malone knows it’s a long season and that things can change quickly in the rugged Western Conference. Denver takes on LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night at Staples Center, and after the Nuggets’ morning shootaround, Malone told reporters how he really feels about the team’s early start:

Malone has been around the game long enough to know that a 4-0 start really doesn’t mean anything. Teams are still trying to knock off the rust from the offseason and haven’t found their rhythm yet. While it’s good that the Nuggets have started off well and appear to be an improved defensive team, the sample size has been too small to deem them a legitimate contender.

Denver shooting guard Will Barton just underwent hip surgery and is going to miss an extended period time. While the Nuggets’ best player is star center Nikola Jokic, Barton is a guy who can score in bunches and put pressure on defenses with his driving ability. The team is going to miss his scoring.

Let’s wait until Week 5 or 6 of the NBA season before we start calling teams the real deal. Yes, the Nuggets have a bright future with Jokic, Jamal Murray and Gary Harris leading the way, but it’s way too early to call them a team that can give the Warriors problems in the playoffs.

Mike Malone knows there are too many good teams in the Western Conference to become cocky after just four games.