Denver Nuggets: Why Michael Malone deserves Coach of the Year

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Denver Nuggets Head coach Michael Malone (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Denver Nuggets Head coach Michael Malone (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

After winning the most recent Coach of the Month award in the West, is a Coach of the Year award next for Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone?

The Denver Nuggets have been looking strong heading towards the playoffs. With only a handful of games before the regular season concludes, Denver looks poised to have another deep playoff run in a contested and deep Western Conference. This leads many to show their support for Michael Malone as a Coach of the Year candidate.

Despite having a strong season last year, Malone has led the team to a 44-24 record thus far and home court advantage heading into round one of the playoffs. The emergence of players such as Michael Porter Jr. and Bol Bol is also a credit to Malone, while the coach was able to also beautifully incorporate the addition of Aaron Gordon into the lineup, with the team having a 17-5 record since acquiring the forward in a trade with the Magic.

Coach Malone has also fought through adversity recently, as the team has sustained multiples injuries throughout the month of April, including a season-ending injury to Bubble sensation Jamal Murray and a hamstring injury to Will Barton (along with a recent injury to PJ Dozier).

Still, Malone managed to get the best out of his team and lead them to a 13-3 record in April and a Coach of the Month nod for the Nuggets leader.

To compare with last season, the Denver Nuggets finished the regular season with a record of 46-27 after playing 73 games. The team is on pace to beat this record, even with their key players missing a substantial amount of time due to injury.

The drastic improvements of Nikola Jokic (who is almost guaranteed to win his first MVP award this season) and Michael Porter Jr. (who has come up big since Murray’s injury) will also add to Malone’s case, as he has provided the young stars with a system to flourish and has helped them develop into bonafide stars.

Malone’s system has also made the Nuggets top 10 offensive team and a top 15 defensive team, allowing them to both light up their opponents while keeping the opposing team’s to a low score. While other contenders such as Monty Williams, Tom Thibodeau and Quin Snyder should be up for consideration, the work Malone has been able to do with the Nuggets this season to keep them consistent and competitive is incredible.

Next. How the Nuggets stack up against potential playoff opponents. dark