For the first time in weeks, everybody is available to play according to Head Coach Michael Malone following Tuesday night’s practice. The Nuggets had a great practice to follow the All-Star Break and all players, including Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, and Emmanuel Mudiay all practiced and, depending on tomorrow’s practice and how they’re feeling, they’ll be good to go against Sacramento on Thursday.
Coach Malone continued to press how important it is that this team plays defense if they want to continue to have a chance to make the post-season.
Malone on game consistency:
“We can’t pick our quarters or our games. It has to be a lot more consistent. If we do that, we’ll give ourselves a chance.” -Coach Malone
Malone on Plumlee & Jokic:
“Him [Mason Plumlee] and Nikola won’t play nearly as many minutes together now that we’re healthy.”
Malone on Thursday’s Trade Deadline:
“The deadline is on Thursday. We’ll see what happens with our team. I love the team that we have. We’re very competitive but we’re not going to mortgage our future just to be in the eighth seed. It doesn’t make sense. We’re thinking long term, big picture, because we’re not just satisfied with making the playoffs. […] I don’t think Tim Connelly is up there actively trying to get rid of anybody.”
After getting to talk with Coach Malone, both Jamal Murray and the newest Nugget, Mason Plumlee, made themselves available to the media.
Jamal Murray on remainder of season:
“I think we’re on the right track. […] We’ll take it one game at a time.”
Mason Plumlee on Denver:
“Everybody that lives here raves about it so that’s what I’m working off of right now. […] I’m looking forward to exploring a little bit.”
Plumlee on Jokic:
“I think I’m more impressed the closer I get.”
Plumlee’s Playoff Advice:
“Every game is important. The GSW game felt great, Minnesota counted all the same. You have to understand the standings and you have to move on quick. You can’t hang your head after a loss, you can’t celebrate after a win, you just have to be focused. Every night’s an opportunity.”
Following practice, Juancho Hernangomez and Danilo Gallinari spent some time playing one-on-one and they were enjoying every moment that they had together on the court. Mason Plumlee was also one of the last Nuggets to leave the court following tonights practice.
— Dig In Denver (@DigInDenver) February 22, 2017
There was a lot of energy in the gym tonight and it was clear that the Nuggets are ready to move on to this last half of the season and fight for the playoffs. There are 26 games left: 13 at home and 13 on the road.
With the trade deadline quickly approaching this Thursday, there’s still time for surprise changes to be made to the Nuggets roster. I suppose we’ll all have to impatiently wait for the deadline to see who could be staying, who could be going, or if there will be no more changes made to this lineup.