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‘Put that in your pipe and smoke it’: Up 2-0, Nuggets’ Malone rips Lakers bias

The Nuggets' head coach is tired of all the Lakers talk.
Lakers Nuggets Basketball
Posted at 10:25 PM, May 18, 2023

DENVER – Nuggets head coach Michael Malone has had enough of the talk about the Lakers.

After the Nuggets’ Game 1 win – in which they jumped out to an 18-point halftime lead and led by 21 in the third quarter before letting the Lakers back into it – Malone said the Lakers were getting all the credit.

They had, after all, made dramatic improvements on defense during the second-half comeback.

Malone didn’t mince words after the Nuggets took a two-game lead.

“You win Game 1 of the playoffs, and all everybody talked about was the Lakers. Let’s be honest, that was the national narrative – ‘Hey, the Lakers are fine, they’re down 1-0 but they figured something out,’” he said. “No one talked about Nikola [Jokic] having a historic performance [...] What he’s doing is just incredible.”

“But the narrative wasn’t about the Nuggets, the narrative wasn’t about Nikola. The narrative was about the Lakers and their adjustments. So, you know, you put that in your pipe, you smoke it, and we’re going to go up 2-0.”

(We'll forgive the fact that Malone apparently didn't read our story about Jokic's Game 1 masterclass.)

Lakers Nuggets Basketball

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It wasn’t the first time on Thursday Malone made his thoughts known, either. He spoke about an apparent Lakers bias before the game.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been in a series up 1-0 and the series is over in everybody’s eyes because they put Rui Hachimura on Nikola Jokic for six possessions," he said.

Malone’s Nuggets head west for Game 3 on Saturday in Los Angeles, where the Lakers have yet to lose this postseason. The game tips off at 6:30 p.m. MST on Denver7, with pregame coverage starting on Denver7 News at 5 p.m.

Nikola Jokic

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