Load management has been a strong point of contention in NBA circles. However, it’s hard to disagree with the thought process behind resting superstars on the second night of a back-to-back. After all, no one wins championships in the regular season; thus, for playoff-bound teams with championship aspirations, reaching the postseason at full strength is the number one priority. That is why the Denver Nuggets held Nikola Jokic (among others) out against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.

But therein lies the shame of it all. Instead of seeing two of the most recent winners of the Most Valuable Player award square off against each other, the Bucks had to face a Nuggets team led by Aaron Gordon. No offense to Gordon, for he is playing at a high level, but he is no Nikola Jokic. Thus, it’s no surprise that head coach Michael Malone rued the missed opportunity for the league to showcase what should have been an incredible matchup between Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Speaking with reporters following the Nuggets’ 107-99 loss vs. the Bucks, Malone called out the league for putting this matchup on the second night of a back-to-back while remaining cognizant of the impossible task the schedule-makers have of pleasing everyone.

“The league has an impossible job. You’re not gonna keep 30 teams happy with the schedule. But Giannis is a 2-time MVP, Nikola’s a 2-time MVP. To have this game the 2nd night of a back-to-back, not a national TV game, and a lot of our guys weren’t able to play tonight, you would hope that they’d set this game up to be more of a marquee matchup,” Malone said, per Joel Rush of Forbes.com.

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Michael Malone also brought up that he feels like the Bucks and Nuggets matchup should have received the same treatment the Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers’ matchup (televised on ABC) on Saturday night. A battle between Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid is worthy of the national TV treatment, for sure, but Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are more than worthy of the same privilege.

Perhaps next year, the league would decide to feature a Bucks-Nuggets matchup. Or maybe their game on March 25th receives the flex treatment and gets featured on national TV. At the end of the day, Malone brings up some great points, and the league should, without a doubt, take note of such constructive criticisms.