Peter Vecsey, a legendary basketball columnist who has followed the NBA for more than 50 years, believes Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone overstepped his boundaries in the aftermath of the team’s Game 2 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday.
With a 123-98 defeat, the Nuggets now face an 0-2 hole against the Suns in the Western Conference semifinals.
What was Malone’s reaction to the team’s lackluster performance?
“I felt like we quit tonight, which is something you never want to see,” Malone told reporters after the game.
The coach’s post-game critique continue this way: “I’m just going to try to find five guys that will at least go out there and leave it all on the line. I may have a hard time coming up with five guys.”
Peter Vecsey weighs in
Peter Vecsey believes Malone isn’t holding himself accountable for the Nuggets’ shortcomings against the Suns.
“Can’t ever recall a head coach publicly pissing on his players the way Mike Malone did after the Suns vaporized the Nuggets a second time,” Vecsey tweeted. “By attacking them, he is openly admitting to has lost the team. Does Malone take any responsibility? Has anyone in the media gone after him?”
NBA MVP Nikola Jokic scored 24 points and Michael Porter Jr. had 11. The Nuggets’ other three starters had a combined 15 points.
Game 3 is on Friday in Denver.