Nuggets in Crisis: Malone Not Afraid to Shake Up Lineup

Michael Malone is angry after the defeat, and announced changes in the team for the rest of the season

by Sededin Dedovic
Nuggets in Crisis: Malone Not Afraid to Shake Up Lineup
© Justin Tafoya / Getty Images

Following the team's fourth loss in five games, Malone announced that he will start using other players besides the current starting lineup. He specifically mentioned Justin Holiday as a potential starter. Malone also expressed frustration with the team's lack of scoring from the bench: "We can't go to a party empty-handed," Malone said.

"We have to have guys who can score off the bench." Of the six players who entered the game as reserves, only two managed to put the ball through the hoop: Justin Holliday scored three points, Christian Brown seven points.

The rest - nothing. If we add to that the four total points scored by Aaron Gordon and Reggie Jackson as starters, it is not difficult to understand how the 19-point loss happened. Gordon had an unreal night – 0/12 from the field.

Malone called such an "effect" very uncharacteristic, but he just waved his hand and said that he had no doubt that the all-rounder would quickly return in recognizable style.

Malone is not afraid to replace the first five

The Nuggets' struggles are not due to Jamal Murray's injury, but it has certainly exacerbated the problem.

Malone admitted that the team has not gotten stronger since winning the title last season. "We have a lot of young, unproven players coming off the bench," Malone said. "I understand that, but at the same time we have to win, so it's a tightrope walk." Malone is not ruling out changes to the starting lineup, and he has made it clear that he is not afraid to use his bench players.

"I have nowhere to go, we have to win and I will play with guys who can help us in that," Malone said. The Nuggets will need to make some changes if they want to defend their title. Malone is confident that he can make the necessary adjustments.

"We have eight players that we can count on," Malone said. The others have to work if they don't want the coach's sanction