The Denver coach once again pointed to the media treatment of his team.
The Nuggets lead two to zero wins over the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, but it is LeBron James and his gang who are the focus of media attention rather than Nikola Jokic and his family, deplores Denver coach Michael Malone. “That’s all that can motivate us,” said the Denver coach after his team’s victory (108-103) at home Thursday night, having closed an 11-point deficit in the second half.
Two days earlier, the Nuggets had also won (132-126), this time resisting the furious comeback of the Lakers, whom they had distanced from 21 units and who had come closer to a possession gap in the last two minutes. “You have to be honest, it was the national discourse. Namely, the Lakers are fine. They are down 1-0, but they have found a solution. Nobody spoke about the historic performance of Nikola Jokic, lambasted Malone.
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In this first match, the Serb had scored his 13th triple double in the play-offs, placing him third in history behind Magic Johnson (30) and LeBron James (28). “What he is doing is just amazing. But the story of that day was not that of the Nuggets, nor that of Nikola. The story was about the Lakers and their adjustments. So you cash in and you know what, we’re going to lead 2-0,” insisted Malone.
Something that indeed happened on Thursday, this time thanks to an exceptional game by Jamal Murray, unstoppable and decisive in the last quarter, during which he scored 23 points to allow Denver to overthrow LA. hardly moved by the lack of media consideration raised by his coach, compared to the Lakers of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, in search of a record 18th title. “We are the Denver Nuggets, we are used to this. Even when we win, we talk about the other team. It’s always the same thing. It stimulates us a little more and it will be even more pleasant when we win the trophy,” he said.