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Denver Nuggets coach Mike Malone utilizes science to keep players rested

From NBA media reports

The midway point of any NBA season is usually a chance for teams to reflect on the gains made during the early part of the season and plot the course for the road ahead, specifically managing the tricky part of the season that includes the February trade deadline and the All-Star break. That’s the case in Denver, where Nuggets coach Mike Malone is leaning on specific member of the team’s staff to assist him.

The Nuggets, sixth in the Western Conference playoff chase as of Sunday morning, have a unique January schedule ahead of them and need to approach it strategically. Gina Mizell of the Denver Post explains the challenges for Malone and his staff as they push forward into the quirky part of the season’s schedule:

After a demanding December with 10 road games, the Nuggets’ January schedule appears manageable. Saturday’s game at the Kings followed by Monday’s matchup in Golden State marks Denver’s only multicity road trip this month.

But Denver also has four sets of three games in four nights, including this Northern California trip after Friday’s home win over Utah. Plus, the Nuggets are nearing the midway point of the season.

To combat physical fatigue, coach Michael Malone is “always communicating” with director of sports medicine Steve Short about the best ways to utilize off days and game days. “As much as you want to practice, right now we’re using our shootarounds as more of practice to clean up the things we need to switch.

“I don’t always agree with (Short),” Malone said with a smile, “but I’m not a sports scientist. I don’t know what’s best for our players. Less is more this time of year … the more I can keep them off of their feet and keep them fresh is only going to allow us to play better as we approach midseason or the second half of the season.”

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