Denver Nuggets’ Michael Malone speaks about Jerami Grant, roster continuity and more

by Eric Spyropoulos
Staff Writer

Following the conclusion of the Denver Nuggets’ 2019 Summer League play, head coach Michael Malone joined The Jim Rome Show to discuss a variety of Nuggets-related topics.

Here are some highlights from Malone’s appearance on the show:

On Nikola Jokić’s playoff performance:

“I don't have enough adjectives to describe Nikola’s play. We all know how talented he is, how skilled he is, how unselfish he is and his IQ is off the charts. But I think what really stood out to me was he is always being criticized as ‘well, he's not athletic enough. He's not in good enough shape.’ And I think he put those things to rest in the playoffs. This kid is in great shape. He's in great conditioning, and he is a mentally tough kid (that was) going through this for the first time. So that's what really impressed me about Nikola was his mental approach, his mental edge and his mental toughness.”

On improving on 54 wins from the 2018-19 season:

“It's going to be a tremendous challenge. You know, we're the only team to your point, Jim, that has improved in each of the four years, which is a really remarkable accomplishment. And the best part about it is we've done it the old-fashioned way. We've earned it and worked for it. And we've developed all the young players, so to do that four years in a row as such a young team speaks to the work and the effort that our coaches, front office, ownership and most importantly, our players have put in.

And I would say, our greatest strength has to be continuity. You have all these other players that are coming together for the first time in joining up, which is great. And that's exciting. And the fans in the NBA should love that. But what we will have over a lot of teams is (that it is) year five for me and it is year three for most of our players. So, there's continuity that allowed us to get off to a great start last season. And we're hoping that's going to allow us to get off to another great start this year.”

On Jerami Grant’s game and fit on the team:

“Well, I'd say there are so many things I love about Jerami grant. He's a young 25-year-old player coming off a big, career year. He had a career-high in points, rebounds and career-high 39% from the three-point line. I think he's just kind of breaking into who he can be as a player. Jerami Grant doesn't need the ball to be effective, he plays well off of others. And I think he’ll fit in tremendously alongside Nikola, Jamal, Gary and all of our players.”

To listen to the full interview, click here.


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