Nuggets sign head coach Michael Malone to contract extension

The Denver Nuggets and Head Coach Michael Malone have agreed to a multiyear contract extension, KSE Vice Chairman Josh Kroenke and General Manager Calvin Booth announced today.

“We are thrilled to announce this extension with Coach Malone and to keep him leading the Nuggets for years to come,” said KSE Vice Chairman Josh Kroenke. “To see our team continue to improve year after year, culminating with our ultimate goal of an NBA Championship is exactly what we all envisioned on the day we hired Michael in 2015. This extension is extremely well deserved and there’s no question about the commitment and dedication that Michael has shown to our organization.”

“I’m excited to continue working alongside Coach Malone as we look towards the future with our core intact and a lot of young talent to develop as well,” stated General Manager Calvin Booth. “Michael has proven he is the right coach for our team and there is no doubt he will continue to keep pushing and striving for more after last season’s Championship run.”

On the development of Michael Porter Jr.

Per the Denver Post:

The old cliché about defending champions evolving from hunters to the hunted has meaning that’s two-fold in the case of Michael Porter Jr.

As opponents attempt to identify any potential weak spots they can exploit on Denver’s championship roster, Porter’s checkered history as a defender might stand out. The Nuggets generally switch one through four in their starting unit, so it’s easy enough for teams to hunt a one-on-one matchup against Porter for their top scorer. Then play iso-ball.

The problem is, Porter isn’t playing like someone who should be hunted at the defensive end.

One of the smoothest 3-point shooters in the NBA is shooting 18 for 68 at his speciality since the start of the NBA Finals in June — that’s 26.5% over an 11-game stretch — but the story of his 2023-24 season so far is the same as his Finals arc.


NBA Players of the Week, Week 1: Nikola Jokic and Tyrese Maxey

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic and Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey were named the NBA Western and Eastern Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for Week 1 of the 2023-24 season (Oct. 24-29).

Other nominees:

West: Stephen Curry (GSW), Anthony Davis (LAL), Luka Dončić (DAL), Kevin Durant (PHX), De’Aaron Fox (SAC), Paul George (LAC), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC) and Zion Williamson (NOP)

East: Jalen Duren (DET), Joel Embiid (PHI), Tyrese Haliburton and Aaron Nesmith (IND), Donovan Mitchell (CLE), Kristaps Porzingis (BOS) and Franz Wagner (ORL)

Denver Nuggets 2023 NBA championship parade highlights

Denver Nuggets 2023 NBA championship parade highlights:

Nikola Jokic wins 2023 NBA Finals MVP

Via the Denver Post:

Jokic is now a winner of two NBA MVPs, a Finals MVP and a Western Conference Finals MVP to supplement the Larry O’Brien Trophy he and his teammates hoisted Monday night at Ball Arena. During the course of the five-game series, the Nuggets hung up posters in their locker room with a variety of motivational quotes, including Jokic’s own go-to phrase about the pursuit of a championship: “We have a chance to do something nice.”

Jokic averaged 30.2 points, 14.0 rebounds and 7.2 assists during the Finals while registering his ninth and 10th triple-doubles of the playoffs. He had already passed Wilt Chamberlain’s record for triple-doubles in a single postseason by Game 3, when he became the first player ever to amass a 30-point, 20-rebound, 10-assist game in the NBA Finals.

Denver Nuggets win 2023 NBA championship


In the biggest game in Denver Nuggets history, veteran DeAndre Jordan had a second-half message for Jamal Murray during a timeout.

“Go win this game,” Jordan was heard saying on the broadcast. “Twelve minutes bro and you in history.


Murray, Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets heeded the call for history, doing what they have done this entire magical postseason and adapting to any obstacle or defensive wrinkle thrown their way.

After opening Monday night’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals missing an abysmal 20 of their first 22 3-point attempts, the Nuggets came up with championship-winning plays in the final minutes.

From Jokic’s basket inside with 2:24 left to Bruce Brown’s putback with 1:31 to go, to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s steal off a Jimmy Butler pass with 27.1 seconds left, the Nuggets came up with all the big plays to win their first-ever NBA championship with a hard-fought 94-89 win over the Miami Heat at an overjoyed Ball Arena.


Nikola Jokic might not have won this third straight Most Valuable Player award this season, but he still ended up with an MVP trophy after all.

In addition to finally getting the championship he has coveted, Jokic was named NBA Finals MVP after the Denver Nuggets eliminated the Miami Heat, 94-89, in Game 5 at Ball Arena.

Jokic closed out Miami with 28 points, 16 rebounds and four assists to help the Nuggets win the franchise’s first-ever NBA title. Like each opponent the Nuggets faced this postseason, the Heat had very little answers for Jokic.

When asked how it feels to be an NBA champion, Jokic told ESPN’s Lisa Salters on the court: “It’s good. It’s good. The job is done, and we can go home now.”

Prior to this championship run, Jokic, 28, was already considered one of the best players of his generation. But now that he has won a championship and a Finals MVP, one NBA Hall of Famer says this catapults the Serbian big man into a different stratosphere.

Heat win Game 2, tie NBA Finals 1-1 with Nuggets

The Heat tied the NBA Finals and had to overcome a monster 41-point effort from Nikola Jokic to do it. Gabe Vincent scored 23 points, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo each had 21 and Heat beat the Denver Nuggets 111-108 in Game 2 on Sunday night. “Our guys are competitors,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They love these kind of moments.” Evidently. They were down by as many as 15 points, down eight going into the fourth, and those numbers signified they were going to lose. Denver was 11-0 in these playoffs when leading by double digits at any point in a game, and 37-1 this season overall when leading by at least eight going into the fourth. – AP via

The Heat went up 11 early and led 26-23 at the end of the opening period. The Nuggets then went up 15 in the second period before the Heat closed within 57-51 at halftime. The Heat tied it 66-66 midway through the third quarter, but the Nuggets closed out the period on a 6-0 run to take an 83-75 lead into the fourth. – Sun Sentinel

A 3-pointer by Vincent with 10:10 to play then gave the Heat their first lead of the second half, at 86-85, as part of a 15-2 Heat run to open the fourth. “They came out in that fourth quarter with a huge sense of desperation, and we didn’t match that,” the Nuggets’ Malone said. The Heat then moved to their 107-95 lead with 3:39 to play on a Caleb Martin 3-pointer, with Denver trimming the deficit to 109-106 with 1:29 left on a basket by former University of Miami wing Bruce Brown. – Sun Sentinel

Just when you think Jimmy Butler is running on fumes, he summons enough to lift his team late. And Bam Adebayo was superb for the second game in a row. That helped offset 41 points by Nikola Jokic. After scoring a personal playoff-low 14 points in Game 1, Butler was again more of a facilitator than scorer through three quarters, missing all four of his shots in the third to go to the fourth with 13 points on 4-for-13 shooting. But after resting for the first four plus minutes of the fourth quarter, Butler delivered three big baskets — a three-pointer, a three-point play on a driving jumper and foul and a jumper. Butler — who closed with 21 points and 9 assists — has shot 41 percent and averaged 23 points in the past 10 playoff games, compared with 32 points on 55 percent in the first nine games. He shot only 7 for 19 but 5 for 5 on free throws Sunday after not getting to the line in Game 1. And Butler leads the NBA — by far — in clutch points during these playoffs, and he keeps coming through when needed. – Miami Herald

Now, while there will be a lot of discussion about Miami‘s shooting and its unsustainability, the Nuggets did not do themselves any favors in Game 2. Denver’s defensive disposition was poor to start the game. If you kept an eye on this space after Game 1, you’ll remember I complimented Miami’s offensive process despite the team only putting up 93 points. The Heat didn’t radically change their attack Sunday, but they did take advantage of all the open looks Denver gave up. For those who had fears about Nikola Jokic’s ability to hold up defensively in the playoffs, Game 2 gave that group some ammunition. Joker’s drop coverage continued to give up good looks. Bam Adebayo had his second straight 20-point game, and was routinely picking apart the Nuggets on the short roll. While Jimmy Butler could not get going with his own offense, he was able to time and time again collapse the Denver defense and find outside shooters. –

Nuggets beat Heat 104-93 in NBA Finals Game 1

The Miami Heat set an NBA postseason record for fewest free throw attempts in a game, going to the foul line just twice during a 104-93 loss to the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night. Afterward, Heat star Jimmy Butler vowed to attack the basket more heading into Game 2 on Sunday night. He didn’t hesitate when asked why the offense struggled so much to find its rhythm. –

“Probably because we shot a lot of jump shots, myself probably leading that pack, instead of putting pressure on the rim,” Butler said after scoring just 13 points. “Getting lay-ups, getting to the free throw line. When you look at it during the game, they all look like the right shots. “And I’m not saying that we can’t as a team make those, but got to get more layups, got to get more free throws. And whenever you miss and don’t get back, the game gets out of hand kind of quickly. We gave up too many lay-ups, which we also can’t have happen. But that’s it as a whole. We’ve got to attack the rim a lot more, myself included.” –

The Heat fell into an early hole against Nikola Jokic and company in large part because the open looks that Butler and his teammates made a habit of hitting earlier in the postseason just didn’t fall. Heat guard Max Strus went 0-for-10 from the field, becoming the fourth player to shoot that or worse in a Finals game, according to ESPN Stats and Information research. Caleb Martin, who carried the Heat offensively at times in the Eastern Conference finals, went 1-for-7 from the field. –

Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro will continue to test his surgically repaired right hand, and a return to the lineup for Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets looms as a possibility, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday. Herro, who had surgery to fix the third and fourth metacarpal on his right hand on April 21, will continue ramping up his workouts and try to get a sense of how the hand responds to contact before making a decision, sources told ESPN. –

Nuggets await winner of Celtics-Heat series

Via the Miami Herald:

While the Miami Heat prepared for Saturday night’s Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics at Kaseya Center, the Denver Nuggets were already preparing for both the Heat and Celtics ahead of the NBA Finals.

The Nuggets earned that luxury after completing the 4-0 sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference finals on Monday night. Next up for the Nuggets is Game 1 of the NBA Finals on June 1.

“Each round we have one coach dedicated to the opponent,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said Friday. “So right now, obviously, we have two coaches, one working on Boston, one working on Miami. We have been talking about both teams every day.”

The Heat’s historic playoff run as a No. 8 seed has left Malone impressed. The Heat already became the sixth No. 8 seed in league history to eliminate a No. 1 seed in the first round and the second No. 8 seed in NBA history to advance to the conference finals after qualifying for the playoffs through the play-in tournament this year.


On the construction of the Denver Nuggets roster

Via the Denver Post:

Nuggets general manager Calvin Booth is more interested in doling out credit than taking any.

The first-year GM knows the foundation of his team’s success was laid well before he took over last summer, and in some instances, before he even arrived as the assistant GM in 2017.

That shouldn’t, and won’t, minimize the shrewd work Booth did in putting the finishing touches on what could be a championship roster. His peers recognized his contributions when he finished tied for third in executive of the year voting. But, as an executive who prides himself on learning from the past, Booth is savvy enough to understand what he inherited.

He saw firsthand what former team president Tim Connelly did in helping construct the foundation of a championship roster, building the culture from the ground up before his abrupt departure to Minnesota last summer. Even a version of the Kentavious Caldwell-Pope trade, which Booth ultimately executed shortly after assuming the job, was under consideration before Connelly left Denver.