Nuggets Demand ‘Discipline’ For Game 3 After Loss vs. Heat

Denver Nuggets, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone showed his team 17 different clips during a film session on June 6 ahead of Game 3 of the 2023 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat.

The clips, according to Malone, were all about “discipline.”

“Every clip was a discipline clip,” Malone said. “Where our discipline, whether it was game plan, whether it was personnel, whether it was defending without fouling, whatever it may be, 17 clips added up to over 40 points in Game 2. That, to me, is staggering.

“What we can do better is just be a lot more disciplined in terms of the game plan, who I’m guarding. Most of that stems from communication. … We had way too many examples, for an NBA Finals game, where we had guys not on the same page because of a lack of communication.”

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The Nuggets lost Game 2 of the Finals at home by three points. Through two fourth quarters in the Finals, the Heat — led by All-Stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo — are shooting a combined 63.8% from the field and averaging 33 points.

Malone, who is looking to win his first championship, has “seen a lack of communication and discipline” from his team in Games 1 and 2.

NBA NEWS & FINALS COVERAGE: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets & Miami Heat Updates

“I’ve seen a lack of communication and discipline,” Malone said. “They played zone not just in the fourth quarter, and we’ve been fine against it. … We want to play fast; they want to play slow. When you’re not getting stops, advantage Miami Heat because now they have their 2-2-1 press back to the zone. We’re playing way too slow to try to attack that, which is forcing a lot of late-clock situations for us.

“We’ve got a lot of guys that have been in big games, playoff-tested, so I don’t think any of it is our guys getting tight. I think it’s just not adhering to the discipline that the game needs.”

The Nuggets have to win Game 3 or 4 in Miami to reclaim home-court advantage in the Finals. The good news is that Denver has won on the road in every series this postseason.

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