Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone criticized the team’s attitude following the 111-108 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 2 of Sunday’s NBA finals.
Malone was furious with his team after their first home loss in post-season and said he was “confused” by their approach.
“Let’s talk about effort. This is the NBA Finals, we’re talking about effort; that’s a big concern for me,” said Malone, who yelled at his team during the game’s first timeout, after a slow start.
Denver won the opening game but now has to go to Miami with The series drew with a score of 1-1 and Malone say they have been fortunate to be equals.
Nikola Jokic (41 PTS, 11 REB) with a remarkable Game 2!
Denver will look to bounce back in Game 3 and lead the series 2-1
DEN/MIA Game 3:
Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC pic.twitter.com/z2LryrxZe6
– NBA (@NBA) June 5, 2023
“You might think I just made up some plot after the game once I said we weren’t playing well. We didn’t play well,” he said.
“We have people out there who just feel sorry for themselves for not taking shots or thinking they can turn it on or off, this is not pre-season, this is not normal season. often. This is the NBA Finals. That for me is really, really embarrassing and disappointing,” he said.
Malone said he asked his team for answers in the dressing room about their performance.
“I ask the team, I ask them, you tell me why they lost, and they know the answer. Miami came here and played better than us, and by far we were the least disciplined (of the knockouts).
“There are too many breakdowns. They exploited all of our problems and scored. If we try to go down there and regain control of this series and regain the home advantage, we’re going to have to play better than Miami, which we didn’t do tonight, and their discipline. I will have to be done. off the charts,” he said.
Miami’s shots were much more effective than the opening game, but Malone said he warned his team they wouldn’t let open shots happen another time.
“As I mentioned after Game 1, the fact that they have 16 open thirds is worrying. They didn’t make them. So we were lucky in game one. Tonight, they made them,” he said.
“So it was definitely a breakdown in communication. It was definitely a glitch in our game plan, and like I said, we’re not nearly as disciplined as you need to be to make it to the NBA Finals.”
Miami overcame the Nuggets 36-25 in the final inning and Malone was furious with his team’s level in the fourth.
“For me, the wheel really fell off at the start of that fourth quarter. They got whatever they wanted, three man, layout, and that again allowed them to stay in their attack zone, slow the game, and we had a hard time blocking. , and then we had trouble shooting the other end,” he said.
“Our defense has to be a lot better. It was two fourth innings, game one and two, where our defense in the fourth half didn’t exist.”
Game 3 of the best seven series takes place in Miami on Wednesday.
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