By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Getting the Denver Nuggets ready for the Playoffs with numerous players dealing with injuries has been a challenge for Michael Malone.
“I hate losing,” the Nuggets play-caller stressed after his side fell to the Utah Jazz in the last NBA Saturdays of the 2022-23 NBA Regular Season. It was the third loss in a row and the fifth over the last five games. The Nuggets securing the top seed of the Western Conference must have been a distraction, shifting focus away from actually winning games.
“A disappointing loss,” mentioned Malone in the postgame press conference at Vivint Arena, “Maybe I’m just wired a little differently. I’m pissed off right now.”
“Losing at any point of the season is not OK,” he added, “The moment you think that losing is OK, it’s just another game, that starts to seep into who you are, the essence of who you are. And I heard a long time ago, there are two types of people, those who like to win and those who hate to lose.”
Returning to action, Nikola Jokic tallied six points, ten assists, ten rebounds, and two assists. The Joker lasted 27 minutes. He is questionable to play in the regular-season finale getting the Sacramento Kings in Ball Arena on NBA Sundays.
Besides the Serbian superstar, the Nuggets have been managing minutes and games played for several regular starters with minor injuries down the stretch of the Regular Season. “We have some guys that haven’t played a lot lately. That’s the balance of worrying about injuries and finding a way to get guys minutes,” Malone described the situation.
In the first round of the Playoffs, the Nuggets will take on the winner of the final Western Conference Play-In game. The extra days off before Game 1 of the best-of-seven series must help to eventually get back to winning basketball. Otherwise, they will face the danger of an early exit.
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