Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone has called for his team to improve on defence ahead of Thursday’s trip to London to face the Indiana Pacers.
The Nuggets face off against Oklahoma City Thunder in the early hours of Sunday morning [CET] before they hop across the pond and Malone, whose side are currently 14-22 calls for sterner play at both ends in order to reach the post-season.
“We have to find a way to defend better,” Malone says. “Right now our defence is not helping us out but our offence has been great. Indiana are a high-tempo, high-scoring team so we need to improve as they can get up and down the court. We can make the playoffs this season no doubt but the only way we’ll do that is by committing to better defence.”
Nuggets were soundly beaten 127-99 on Thursday against the San Antonio Spurs with turnovers, especially in the second half a huge key to the loss.
No doubt the side have had a tough running heading into Thursday’s clash at the O2 Arena and they will be keen to arrive in London from Oklahoma City as soon as possible being the first Western Conference team to ever play a regular season fixture.
“We had a great first half against the Spurs but in the second half the game got away from us a little bit,” he said. “We got too many turnovers and if you do that against a great team like the Spurs they’re going to make you pay.”
“We’ve had a tough schedule lately, we played at Golden State who have the best record in the NBA, but we were in it the whole night and gave ourselves a chance to win that game. For a half [against the Spurs] we played against one of the best teams in the NBA and we went toe-to-toe with them.
“We need to be more consistent in our effort but there are plenty of positives that we can take from that.”