Nuggets head coach Mike Malone after their Game 2 loss in the 2023 NBA Finals.

The Denver Nuggets were expected by most to protect their home court and come away with a Game 2 victory against the Miami Heat on Sunday. They didn’t do that, and Nuggets head coach Mike Malone got brutally honest about why they lost.

Nuggets star Nikola Jokić had a terrific game, finishing with 41 points to go along with 11 rebounds. However, this still wasn’t enough to beat a Heat team that had three players score 20 points in the game.

It was a frustrating loss for the Nuggets, and Malone let his grievances with his team be known after the game. Malone was asked about the struggles of the rest of the starting lineup aside from Jokić. He didn’t want to talk about that, instead blasting some of his players for what he perceived as a lack of effort.

“I don’t think that’s the biggest question,” said Malone of the original question. “Now let’s talk about effort. I mean, this is the NBA Finals and we’re talking about effort. That’s a huge concern of mine… You guys probably just thought I was making up some storyline when I said after Game 1 that we didn’t play well. We didn’t play well. We had guys out there who were either just… Whether it’s feeling sorry for themselves for not making shots, or thinking they can just turn it on. This is the NBA Finals, and to me that is really, really perplexing.”

A coach in the NBA finals should certainly never have to worry about their team’s effort in an NBA Finals matchup.

The Nuggets very clearly have a ton to work out before their Game 3 matchup in Miami on Wednesday night.

[Awful Announcing on Twitter, Photo Credit: ESPN]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.