Malone cites Warriors when discussing Nuggets' future in West


The Denver Nuggets this year became the first team in NBA history to win two series in a single postseason after falling behind three-games-to-one.

They shocked the Utah Jazz in the opening round, and then really shocked the LA Clippers in the Western Conference semifinals.

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone -- who was an assistant coach with the Warriors during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons -- knows it's going to be very difficult to make a deep postseason run next season.

"We can't be satisfied. None of us can be satisfied with getting to the Western Conference finals," he told reporters Thursday. "None of us can be of the thought process that we got there this year (so) it's an automatic we'll make it again next year.

"We have to remember that teams like Golden State were not in the picture this year -- they'll be back. It's gonna be a different landscape next year."

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This is a very good point by Malone.

The Warriors have the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, a $17.2 million traded player exception and the taxpayer mid-level exception to improve the roster this offseason.

And if the "core four" -- Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins -- remain fully healthy, they absolutely should be a legitimate title contender.

RELATED: Why Millsap, Warriors are perfect fit in free agency

Additionally, Malone can use the Warriors as a reminder of how quickly a franchise can go from the top of the league to the bottom. Golden State went from the NBA Finals one year to the worst record in the league the next.

Injuries can derail a season, and you can't take anything for granted.

The Nuggets, who have two franchise cornerstones in Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, have to hope for good injury luck, and that they don't go backwards. They are easy to root for and it would be a lot of fun if Golden State and Denver square off in the 2021 playoffs.

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