Denver Nuggets Head Coach Blasts Team After Ugly Loss

The Denver Nuggets have handled their business for much of the 2022-23 regular season, but their head coach hasn't liked what he's seen lately. Speaking at his post-game press conference, Michael Malone torched his team after Tuesday's 124-103 loss to the Houston Rockets, going so far as to call his players "soft":

Including Tuesday's loss to the Rockets, who sport a Western Conference-worst 20-60 record, the Nuggets have lost three of their last four. They nonetheless clinched the conference's top seed thanks to the Memphis Grizzlies' 138-131 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.

It's possible lethargy has set in for the Nuggets. In early March, they'd all but wrapped up the conference. One month ago on March 6th, they were sitting pretty with a 46-19 record, but they've since lost eight of 14. Their one-time MVP favorite Nikola Jokic has remained effective over that span (26.8 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 8.9 assists per game with a .630 field goal percentage), but the rest of the team has clearly struggled to stay motivated.

Malone is right to try and light a fire under his team. Their top seed won't necessarily guarantee them an easy matchup in the first round, and it's not like they have a championship pedigree to fall back on. The Nuggets have never advanced past the Conference Finals under Malone, and they'll be regarded with skepticism until they win a championship. They were knocked out in the first round by the Golden State Warriors just last season.

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