The Denver Nuggets weathered the storm and came back to go up 2-0 in the series.
The Nuggets were heavily favored by oddsmakers to win this game — and the series — and made a big statement in Game 1.
However, all the media was talking about was how Darvin Ham and the Los Angeles Lakers had figured them out and how confident they should feel about themselves if they started Rui Hachimura.
That’s why Coach Mike Malone was quite vocal about his despise for this kind of narrative.
Mike Malone goes off on the narratives surrounding the Lakers and Nikola Jokic
“The national narrative [after Game 1] was that the Lakers were fine. No one talked about Nikola having a historic performance. The narrative wasn’t about the Nuggets.”
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) May 19, 2023
Even before the game, Malone put the media on blast for not even talking about how well Nikola Jokic played or all the things the Nuggets did well; it was all about the Lakers, what they did, and what they didn’t.
Malone mocked the narrative before the game, citing that Ham would rather be up 1-0 than down 0-1, and doubled down on that take following his team’s win.
It’s not a secret that the Lakers are one of the most popular teams in all sports, so it’s only natural to see that they get the most nationwide attention.
Nonetheless, the Nuggets are the No. 1 seed for a reason, and they’ve reached the Western Conference Finals for being the most consistent team in the playoffs, yet they can’t seem to get the recognition they deserve.
That should be even more motivation when they hit the road for Games 3 and 4 at Crypto.com Arena, and they have more than enough to take at least one of those and go back home with a 3-1 lead.NEXT: Analyst Says 1 Player Is 'Proving To Be The Best Player In Basketball'