"Wish Bron was in his prime": Lakers fans salty as Michael Malone dishes uber-confident take amid Nuggets' dominance

Lakers fans salty as Michael Malone dishes uber-confident take amid Nuggets
Lakers fans salty as Michael Malone dishes uber-confident take amid Nuggets' dominance

Despite having a 2-0 first-round playoff series lead over the LA Lakers, Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone said his team is prepared to make adjustments. Malone's uber-confidence rubbed many Lakers fans the wrong way, as they called for LA to quiet him.

In addition to winning their first two playoff matchups this year, the Nuggets are riding a 10-game winning streak against the Lakers. LA last beat Denver on Dec. 16, 2022.

The Lakers nearly ended their drought against the defending champions during Monday's Game 2 showdown, building a 20-point third-quarter advantage. However, they allowed the Nuggets to close the game on a 53-31 run. Denver star point guard Jamal Murray capped off that run with a buzzer-beating fadeaway jumper to win the game 101-99.

Afterward, LA coach Darvin Ham faced criticism for his lack of adjustments down the stretch. Lakers superstar big man Anthony Davis even called out his squad for having "stretches where [they] just don't know what [they're] doing on both ends of the floor."

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However, according to Malone, Denver's situation has been the opposite. Ahead of Thursday's Game 3, the 52-year-old noted that he’s been prepared to adjust his strategy since the series' tipoff but hasn't had to yet.

"Probably since we knew we were playing the Lakers — Wednesday was our first practice — we've gone over our game plan, we've gone over adjustments for a lot of different players and play calls that we haven't even had to show yet," Malone said. "So, that's why in the playoffs it's more of a chess match, reading and reacting."

Malone's comments irked many Lakers fans on X/Twitter. Some called out Malone for being too arrogant.

"This coach is a cocky old dude. I wish [Le]Bron [James] was in his prime so he [could] sweep him," @GolongV said.
"This self-congratulating dude is insufferable," @Abuelin27 said.

Meanwhile, others expressed frustration with Ham and LA for blowing their Game 2 lead, allowing Malone to be overconfident.

"I hate Darvin Ham and the Lakers players for choking these games and letting Malone talk his s**t. Could be easily up 2-0 if they just made their open layups," @sobh2561 said.

However, some noted that Malone's confidence is justified, given his long-running success against the Lakers.

"I mean, he's won 10 in a row. I'm a Lakers fan, but until they can figure out a way to beat Denver, Malone can talk that s**t. [If the] Lakers want to shut him up, they better win," @_Dodge_This said.
"W answer, and this isn’t cocky, he said it’s a chess match," @Kdmorrow12 said.

Also Read: "I'll agree to disagree": Darvin Ham rubbishes Anthony Davis' post-game blast on LA Lakers focus

Michael Malone attributes Nuggets' success to their camaraderie

While the Nuggets have been praised for their relentlessness and late-game execution during their 20-point Game 2 comeback, Malone credited the win to their camaraderie.

Ahead of Game 3, the veteran coach noted that Denver's tight-knit group can never be counted out, regardless of the scoreboard.

"X's and O's, drawing up a play, that's all good. That's fine," Malone said. "What it ultimately comes down to is relationships and the connection, the chemistry, the love that our group has for each other. We're never out of games."

It remains to be seen if the Lakers can overcome the Nuggets' lethal combination of talent and chemistry at home in Game 3. If not, they will face the daunting task of trying to become the first team in NBA history to overcome a 3-0 series deficit.

Also Read: "Doesn't matter what you do in 47 & half minutes": LeBron James lays down the law for Lakers to find clutch gene vs. Nuggets

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