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Malone: Nuggets Were “Soft” Against Blazers In Game 4

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Michael Malone had some choice words for his starters.

Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Four Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

In the post-game presser after the loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets Head Coach Michael Malone had some harsh criticism for his players. Royce Young of ESPN details what Malone had to say.

“Our starters were awful,” he said. “I thought we had some guys that were tentative, that looked a little scared, who played soft ... we’re going to have to be a lot better going home.”

Malone didn’t stop there.

“The urgency has to be there. Maybe this will be a wake-up call for our starting group just to play harder,” Malone said. “Good things happen when we play hard, and we didn’t play anywhere close to hard enough tonight.”

He noted that they lost even though Damian Lillard didn’t shoot well.

“If you would’ve told me going in that Damian Lillard was going to be 1-10 from the field and we’re going to get blown out, I probably would’ve had a hard time believing that,” Malone said.

Malone was in disbelief about his players’ performance.

“There’s no silver linings when you get your ass kicked in a playoff game,” the coach said. “I can’t believe we’re actually talking about playing hard in a playoff game. That should be a given.”

The Blazers beat the Nuggets 115-95 to tie the series 2-2.