DENVER — Nuggets coach Michael Malone was both candid and direct when speaking with the media about Denver's sluggish offense on Jan. 21 after his team lost for the sixth time in its past eight games.
"I am calling way more play calls than I did my first two years," Malone said. "We have gotten away from just playing the game ... Teams didn’t know what the hell we were doing last year. We just played with great pace. We’re playing really slow right now. We used to run. We’re not running as much. We used to cut. We’re not cutting as much. We’re just standing. I want to get back to being a team that’s hard to guard. That runs. That plays with pace. And kind of get back to the offensive identity we had last year."
Since the Nuggets' 104-101 win over the Trail Blazers, which came the day after Malone's remarks, Denver's offense has returned to last year's version of itself and then some. In the eight games since the comments, the Nuggets have amassed a 6-2 record. They've beaten the Knicks, Mavericks, Thunder, Warriors and now Hornets. They've also gone down to the wire in close losses against Boston and San Antonio.