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Nuggets coach Michael Malone deserves praise | Commentary

9NEWS Sports Anchor Jacob Tobey says that Michael Malone has played a pivotal role in the team's overall success.

DENVER — As the Nuggets season comes to a close, all the talk will be about Nikola Jokic potentially winning his second consecutive league MVP award, and how Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. will fully rehab and be ready to go for next season.

And that’s fair. But I think we’re leaving someone out.

I’m here to praise head coach Michael Malone. As one fan said on Twitter: "The dude’s been through it this year."

Malone had to try and find ways to win games without two of his best players, while making sure he didn’t burn out the Joker. That is hard to do.

Plus -- think about every time a piece of injury news on Murray or MPJ came out and he had to continuously talk about these two players coming back, when in reality, they weren’t.

But he still answered all of the questions without any issue.

Credit: AP
Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone during Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco, Monday, April 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Malone is great to cover and work with. He’s always nice to the media and is a really smart basketball dude. He’s a motivator and he’s a jokester.

The Nuggets have won the most games out of any team in the Western Conference the last 4 years, and Malone plays such a pivotal role in that success.

There’s a reason he was awarded a multi-year contract extension in March -- team President Tim Connelly knows what’s up.

I agree with what Malone said about the future of this franchise after their playoff loss when he said "I think it’s scary to think about."

With healthy stars and a great coach like Malone, it is scary.

So I hope Malone is off drinking a Mai Tai somewhere on a private island in the South Pacific, like he said he was going to do this off-season -- Because, well, he surely needed it but he definitely deserved it.

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