Basketball

NBA Playoffs: Malone blames soft mentality for Nuggets’ loss to Suns

Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone has blamed his team’s soft mentality for Monday night’s loss to the Suns in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series on Monday night. 

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Nuggets were leading by a point at half time and looked set to win the game or make it as difficult as possible but went on to lose 122-105 on the night. They were outscored 65-47 in the final 24 minutes.

“This game to me was eerily similar to Game 1 against Portland,” Malone said after the loss to the Suns. “I think we had way too many breakdowns tonight from a coverage standpoint,” he told ESPN. 

“I think seven of their 13 3s tonight were from the corners and a lot of that was missed assignments, not communicating. We gave up eight and-1s tonight, I think [we] had a soft mentality,” Malone expressed.

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“You can’t give up eight and-1s in a playoff game. If you’re going to foul somebody, foul them, and not let them get the and-1.”

The Denver Nuggets would look to tie the series in Game two when both sides clash again on Thursday. 

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