Denver coach Michael Malone warns Nuggets 'haven't done a damn thing'

Denver coach Michael Malone warns Nuggets 'haven't done a damn thing'

head coach Michael Malone warned his players that the series isn’t over, despite them taking the lead with a dominant performance in Game 1.

Nikola Jokic’s triple-double blew the away Thursday as the Nuggets stormed to a 104-93 victory and a 1-0 lead in the Championship Finals series.

Despite his team’s dominant display, Malone believes there is still work to be done as he claimed they didn’t play well.

‘I told our players today, don’t read the paper, don’t listen to the folks on the radio and TV saying that this series is over and that we’ve done something, because we haven’t done a damn thing,’ Malone said.

‘We won Game 1.The reason I told our players I was excited this morning is because we won Game 1 and we didn’t play well, and there’s so many things we can do better. If we do those things at a better level, we’ll have a chance to win Game 2.’

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone warned his players that the series isn’t over

Nikola Jokic’s triple-double blew the Miami Heat away as the Nuggets took Game 1 Thursday

There’s always things to do better.Apparently, even for Jokic and Jamal Murray, believe it or not.

They joined Magic Johnson and James Worthy, in 1987, as the only teammates to have at least 25 points and 10 assists in the same finals game – and the Nuggets’ duo did it in their finals debut.Jokic had a 27-point triple-double, Murray finished with 26, and the stage was clearly not too big for Denver’s two best players.

Denver is also trying to be the first team to start a postseason 10-0 at home since Boston in 2018.

‘You just try to win every game.It´s first to four, no matter how you get it done,’ Murray said. ‘Obviously, you want to take advantage of being at home. Love playing at home. But any game you can win, you take. So, yeah, we´re looking forward to just winning every single game that we play.’

Meanwhile, meu the Heat made NBA history, and not the good kind, by shooting only two free throws in Game 1 as Denver struck first.

It was the fewest free throw attempts ever by a team in a playoff game and makes one of the adjustments for Game 2 on Sunday simple to forecast: Expect Miami to go into attack mode.

‘The attacks, we didn´t have enough of them,’ said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, whose team sent Denver to the line for 20 free throws in Game 1.

‘I thought the free throw disparity was appropriate.Maybe we could have got two, four, six more based on a call here or a call there. But overall our attack numbers were lower, and that usually translates into lower free throw attempts.’

This is Miami’s first 1-0 deficit of the postseason. The Heat won Game 1s on the road in Milwaukee, New York and Boston on their way to the finals; no team had ever won four Game 1s away from home in the same postseason.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra hinted Miami could go into attack mode for Game 2 on Sunday

And while the Nuggets are saying – correctly, too – that they missed plenty of open shots, the Heat can absolutely point to that as a way they’ll improve in Game 2.Max Strus (0 for 10), Caleb Martin (1 for 7) and Duncan Robinson (1 for 6) were a combined 2 for 23 from the floor in Game 1, 2 for 16 from 3-point range.

That would be the simplest and most effective adjustment Miami could make for Sunday – make shots.

‘I´m going to continue play the right way.I´m going to pass the ball to my shooters the way I have been playing the entire playoffs, the entire year,’ said Heat forward Jimmy Butler, who scored 13 in Game 1, his lowest-scoring game so far in these playoffs.

‘But I think I´ve got to be more aggressive putting pressure on the rim,’ he said.’I think that makes everybody´s job a lot easier. They definitely follow suit whenever I’m aggressive on both sides of the ball. So, I have to be the one to come out and kick that off the right way – which I will – and we´ll see where we end up.’

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The Heat will look to level the series in Denver Sunday night in Game 2.

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