The Nuggets head coach discusses his one issue with closeout games


The Denver Nuggets are only one win away from securing an NBA title, holding a 3-1 series lead heading into Game 5. However, head coach Michael Malone is cautious about the challenges that come with closeout games. In this article, we explore Malone's major concern and the potential pitfalls of complacency. As the Nuggets aim to close out the series, maintaining focus and intensity becomes paramount to avoid allowing the Miami Heat to stage a comeback which is Game 6. Let's explore Malone's perspective and the significance of approaching Game 5 with a desperate mindset. 

My biggest concern going into any closeout game is human nature and fighting against that,” Malone said. “You’re up 3-1. Most teams, when they’re up 3-1, come up for air and relax. They just kind of take it for granted that, ‘Oh, we’re gonna win this.’ The main thing for us is going back to the bubble, we’ve been down 3-1 before and we’ve come back and won. We know anything is possible. … Our approach has to be that we’re down 3-1. They’re desperate, and we have to be more desperate.” 

The Difficulty of Winning Closeout Games  

For NBA teams, winning a closeout game can be a tough task. Malone acknowledges that when a team holds a 3-1 series lead like the Nuggets, there is a natural tendency to "come up for air and relax." This relaxed state can be very risky, as it can lead to a lack of focus and consistency.

Malone's concern stems from the fact that many teams take them for granted. And assuming victory is very easy to achieve. To make his team members realize the sensitivity of the condition they are in. He emphasizes the need for his team to recognize the challenges and maintain their focus throughout Game 5. 

Fighting Against Human Nature 

Malone's primary concern lies in battling human nature. It is a common phenomenon for teams to ease up when they have a comfortable lead in a series. The Nuggets' head coach focus more on the importance of not falling into this trap. Drawing from their history, Malone reminds his players of the NBA bubble season three years ago when the Nuggets were down 3-1 in the playoffs but managed to stage a remarkable comeback. Additionally, This experience serves as a powerful reminder that no series lead is insurmountable. Malone implores his team to approach Game 5 as if they were the ones facing elimination. By channeling their desperation into a relentless pursuit of victory. 

The Importance of Learning from the Past 

Learning from past experiences in sports, Malone understands its significance. By reminding his players of their previous success in overcoming a 3-1 deficit, he builds confidence and resilience within the team. This historical context catalyzes for the Nuggets to maintain their focus and avoid carelessness.

Malone emphasizes that the 3-1 series lead should not be a reason for relaxation but a motivation to finish the job. The players must recognize that the Miami Heat will be desperate to extend the series and adjust their mindset accordingly. 

Avoiding Complacency in Game 5  

While Game 5 is not a must-win for the Nuggets, they are well aware of the dangers of opponents. A loss would provide the Heat an opportunity to level the series and swing the momentum in their favor. The Nuggets' dominant postseason performance has puts a result of their relentless approach, and they cannot afford to deviate from it now. Maintaining their focus, intensity, and hunger for victory is a must in Game 5. The Nuggets must treat each possession as if the series is on the line, exerting maximum effort on both ends of the court 

Nuggets aim to secure the NBA title

As the Denver Nuggets approaches Game 5 with a 3-1 series lead, head coach Michael Malone's concerns about closeout games are their next target. By recognizing the dangers of complacency, learning from past experiences, and approaching the game with a desperate mindset. He will the Nuggets aim to secure the NBA title his dream title.

Additionally, Maintaining focus, intensity, and a sense of instant effort with focus will be vital toward the potential comeback from the Miami Heat. The Nuggets understand the significance of Game 5. And he is determined to avoid any of the mistakes and he wants to finish the series dominantly.