Michael Lee from The Vertical on Yahoo Sports was in town for the better part of a week, going inside with Nuggets head coach Michael Malone. The interesting thing about being at Pepsi Center so often is that you can see conversations happening and anticipate the build up to what is a very good and insightful article from Lee.
I have my quibbles with Michael Malone the coach, which I've explained in detail on Stiffs. I think he is still finding his way as a coach despite his one and a half seasons with the Sacramento Kings. He needs to get a better feel for in-game coaching and the like and HE is developing as a head coach just as much as Nikola Jokic and Emmanuel Mudiay are developing as players. There will be, and has been, bumps in the road.
Lee's article delves into more and gives you some insight into a couple specific games (Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies) on the recent 8 game home stand. One particular segment stands out to me from Lee's article, and it's following the Nuggets loss to the Memphis Grizzlies last week:
But Malone proves to be prophetic as the Nuggets' poor execution down the stretch allows the Grizzlies to escape with a 102-101 victory. Malone storms off the court, face beet red, after his team squandered a game they should've had. While speaking with reporters afterward, Malone used the Mike Tyson analogy about having a plan until getting hit in the mouth.
The next day at practice, the mood continues to be upbeat. Malone works his way around the floor, joking with Jokic, sprinting with Nelson and sharing funny stories with his coaches. He knows being negative all the time won't make the situation better, that he has to find balance with the overall goals.
Post-Practice Malone is my favorite coach to talk to, including George Karl. He's great at giving good answers to your questions and as you can tell from the CSG videos I've put up. You get a good look into his actual thinking after practice and it's always, routinely great.
Lee does a fantastic job going into what makes Michael Malone tick. I suggest everyone check it out.
Also check out the Colorado Sports Guys Podcast that Nate Timmons and myself did with Michael Lee and Chris Dempsey. You get a great inside look at the locker room and the media interaction with players.