For the second consecutive recreation, the Nuggets misplaced handily to the Suns in a recreation that wasn’t shut.
However this time, Denver coach Michael Malone was significantly displeased along with his staff’s effort.
After the 123-98 Suns victory, Malone ripped into his staff and stated that they give up in the course of the loss that dropped them to 0-2 of their sequence towards Phoenix.
“I felt we give up tonight, which is one thing you by no means need to see,” Malone stated, per ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “So I suppose for Recreation 3, I am simply going to attempt to discover guys that can no less than go on the market and go away all of it on the road. I could have a tough time developing with 5 guys that fill that, however these two video games, these second halves have actually been disappointing, and that is an understatement.”
Nevertheless, not all the Nuggets gamers agreed with Malone’s notion that the staff “give up.” A kind of gamers was Nikola Jokic. The NBA MVP wasn’t happy with how the staff performed, however he appeared to take objection to Malone’s assertion.
“I do not suppose in order that guys give up,” Jokic stated. “While you’re dropping lots, you may all the time form of put your head down. … However I am unsure that we give up. I did not give up.”
Jokic, per standard, had the perfect evening of any Nugget. He posted 24 factors, 13 rebounds and 6 assists. That stated, he nonetheless completed with a minus-14 score as Denver struggled on the defensive finish.
Basically, Denver had a foul evening. It shot simply 40 % from the sector, was outrebounded 52-46, misplaced the turnover battle 11-7 and dedicated 21 fouls in comparison with Phoenix’s 18.
In Malone’s phrases, it seemed just like the Nuggets “didn’t need to be” part of Recreation 2.
“I noticed one staff that needed to be right here, that performed with a objective and urgency, and one staff that didn’t need to be right here and performed with no urgency,” Malone stated. “And that is why we obtained our ass kicked. … We had plenty of guys play actually dangerous tonight. After which we allowed the impression of not making the shot to have an effect on the opposite finish, and it was actually — this was simply an embarrassing efficiency all the best way round, high to backside.”
Now, the Nuggets will look to bounce again in Recreation 3. However as Malone stated, there isn’t any assure that can occur.
“This was an embarrassing efficiency from myself throughout the final participant,” Malone stated. “We’re strolling out of right here with our heads held down, rightfully so. And there is a motive that their crowd is yelling ‘Suns in 4!’ and so they’re calling for a sweep. As a result of if we play like this again in Denver, that is going to be a very fast sequence.”