Mike Malone knows Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals didn’t go as expected for his Denver Nuggets and he’ll try to make the right adjustments to win the next game. It’s a do-or-die situation for the Nuggets now, as the Lakers have taken a 3-1 lead. Luckily for Denver, they’ve been in this position before and have known how to overcome it, but this time the task will be even harder to carry out.
After the game was done, Malone made sure to let people know what he believed about officiating on Thursday night. The Lakers reportedly talked to the league to complain about LeBron James not getting enough free throws and the coach addressed that situation, stating the Nuggets will use the same tactics to see if something changes for Game 5. Denver attempted 23 free throws in the loss, 12 less than the Lakers.
“I’m going to have to go through the proper channels like they did to get some more free throws,” Malone said, via Mark Medina of USA Today.
He noted that the league has a good job listening to teams’ complaints and he hopes this time they’ll do the same.
“We’ll watch the film and send our clips in. We’ll reach out to the NBA and kind of make our points noted. … The NBA does a great job of listening. You hope that next game maybe some of those fouls are called.”
Mike then clarified the Nuggets made some mistakes that cost them the game and the officiating wasn’t actually the reason they lost.
“This game had nothing to do with the (whistle).”
If you watched the game, he is right with this claim. Denver missed failed at a key task, the rebounding. They gave 12 offensive rebounds to the Lakers, even when the paint was full of their players. During the last minutes of the game, they didn’t make any change and that cost them the game. Besides, Nikola Jokic didn’t have his best game and those factors were heavier than the fouls that the refs called or didn’t call.
Now it’s time to focus on the next game. They need to win or the Lakers will make it to the NBA Finals.