Michael Malone Says Nuggets Didn’t ‘Play Nicely’ in G1 Win vs. Warmth: ‘Protection Was Poor’

Bart Younger/NBAE through Getty Photographs

The Denver Nuggets might have defeated the Miami Warmth 104-93 in Recreation 1 of the 2023 NBA Finals, however Michael Malone nonetheless wasn’t happy along with his staff’s efficiency on the defensive finish.


“I don’t assume we performed nicely in Recreation 1,” the Nuggets head coach told reporters Saturday. “… I advised our gamers right now, don’t learn the paper, don’t hearken to the oldsters on radio or TV… there are such a lot of issues we will do higher… I believed our protection was poor.”

Instantly after Recreation 1, Malone advised reporters that he felt the staff’s protection was “the place it wanted to be” for 3 quarters however that the fourth quarter may have been higher because the Nuggets allowed 30 factors.

“As I advised our gamers, we’re up 1-0 and that’s nice, however we’ve to shut video games out,” Malone stated Thursday. “We’re up 21 to start out that fourth quarter, they usually open up with a fast 8-0 run. … Within the finals you’ll be able to’t choose and select whenever you need to play. We’ve acquired to play a lot nearer to 48 minutes.”

Miami didn’t make it straightforward for Denver on Thursday evening, and issues may have gone far in a different way had the Warmth knocked down some extra pictures.

The Warmth made simply 39 of 96 pictures from the ground (40.6 %) and 13 of 39 pictures from past the arc (33.3 %) in Recreation 1. Miami additionally shot simply 31 % (5 of 16) on wide-open threes in Recreation 1 after hitting 49 % of wide-open three-pointers within the Jap Convention Finals in opposition to the Boston Celtics.

Denver must do a significantly better job of limiting Miami’s pictures in Recreation 2, particularly contemplating the Nuggets solely tried 79 area objectives on Thursday evening in comparison with Miami’s 96.

Recreation 2 between the Nuggets and Warmth is ready for Sunday at 8 p.m. ET in Denver.