Denver Nuggets coach Nikola Jokic and company expressed their mindset.

summary

  • Michael Malone discussed the pressure on the Nuggets after falling into an 0-2 deficit to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
  • Malone believes his team needs to focus on the upcoming Game 3 instead of losing itself while thinking about the bigger picture.

Things are clearly not going well for the Denver Nuggets. Despite beating the Los Angeles Lakers in 5 games and advancing to the first round of the NBA Playoffs, the team is now down 0-2 to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Nuggets had homecourt advantage for the first two games, so they are now tasked with traveling to Minnesota for Game 3 with hopes of avoiding a 3-0 situation.

With the Nuggets being the reigning NBA champions, there is a lot of pressure on the team to make it to the Finals again. Head coach Michael Malone was recently interviewed and asked about the team’s mindset and focus heading into Game 3. Since losing Game 3 almost guarantees them elimination in the second round, one might want to know more about what Malone had to say.

Michael Malone brings the focus back to the Denver Nuggets’ 2020 postseason

It’s a tough task when a team goes 0-2 and falls to 3-1 after the first 4 games of the playoffs. While the Nuggets have been successful in recent times, the team has been in the same situation in the past. After all, they were down 3-1 twice during the 2020 playoffs but managed to overcome both situations and advance to the next round.

When asked about the Nuggets’ current mindset, Malone recalled his team’s past accomplishments as well as the teams’ history of comebacks and series wins.

“33 teams have come back from 0-2 deficits. I think 5 or 6 teams have done that after losing the first 2 at home. Reggie Jackson was one of them. So I said to the players, is it possible? Yes, history tells us it is possible. But you have to take part in your own recovery. Just because it’s been done before doesn’t mean we’re going to do it. Only if we have the necessary mindset…

Malone continued, “My main focus is how we win Game 3. Because not if you’re worried about winning 4 more games. Win Game 3. We lost twice in the bubble 3-1. We never said we had to win 4 in a row. It was win Game 5, let’s win Game 6 and then worry about Game 7.

The Denver Nuggets head coach certainly has a good point. The weight of the overall series will undoubtedly put pressure on the team as opposed to just focusing on the task at hand. While Malone believes his team will be able to bounce back, there’s no denying they have an uphill challenge after dropping both homecourt games.

Should fans expect the Nuggets to win 2 games on the road?

The Nuggets entered the playoffs as the defending champions. Multiple NBA experts predicted that they would beat any team that stood in their way and make it to the NBA Finals once again. Since Denver hasn’t won a single game at home, the emotions and thoughts in their locker room are beyond a typical fan’s imagination.

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It would be unfair to say that the Denver Nuggets can now win 2 games on the road and even take this series to a Game 5. They can only win 1 and find themselves in a 3-1 deficit The NBA world is wondering if the team will be able to turn things around like they have in the past against a young and hungry Timberwolves team.

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