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Eyes misty, shoulders slumped, head facing the floor, Nikola Jokic lingered at his locker like a gray cloud minutes after the Denver Nuggets’ dream season came to an end. Joker, as Mike Miller nicknamed him as a wisecracking rookie, wearing only compression shorts decorated with fishing lures, couldn’t mask his dejection. It mattered little that he’d just scored 29 points…

PORTLAND, Ore. — What games over the course of NBA history do you think of when you hear the term “instant classic”? Add Game 3 of the Nuggets and Trail Blazers’ first-round series to the list. The Nuggets and Trail Blazers needed four overtimes to determine the winner of Friday night’s matchup, a thrilling 140-137 Portland win. It was only…

Much like rappers who keep their ears to the ground for the next hot sound, basketball coaches watch games to see what they can repurpose as their own. In 2014, not long after Drake released a remix of Migos’ “Versace” and began incorporating the Atlanta trio’s ratatat flow into his own music, Michael Malone, then in his first and only full…

A little more than 24 before Katy Winge made history as the first woman in Altitude TV history to serve as a color analyst during a game, she still wasn’t 100 percent sure it would actually happen. Altitude producer Scott Bay had floated the idea to Winge over the last couple of weeks that he might be able to get…

In June, Tim Connelly was at his parent’s home in South Baltimore when his do-it-all wing asked to meet up. Come to the barber shop, Will Barton told him. Free agency was weeks away, and Barton was eligible for a new deal. Barton was coming off a career year in which he’d done everything from start at small forward to…

NIKOLA JOKIC ONLY LETS A SELECT FEW ride his horse Dream Catcher. It’s an exclusive club, one that includes Jokic’s godfather, his girlfriend and Michael Malone. Not even Jokic’s two older brothers are permitted to climb into the harness behind Dream Catcher and take the reins as Jokic’s horse trots around Sombor’s race track, situated five minutes due south of the…

The Denver Nuggets are playoff bound. With a 114-105 win in Boston on Monday, they clinched a postseason spot for the first time since 2013, the latest step in their progression from punching bag to budding contender. There are a number of ways to measure the strides the Nuggets have made in the last half decade, whether it’s the offense…

The first 18 years of Jamal Murray’s life were a mostly cable-less existence. Jamal’s father, Roger, didn’t want his son spending his free time plopped down in front of a TV. So instead of watching cartoons, Murray honed his jump shot and did push ups in the snow. Because of his unusual upbringing, Murray missed out on Millennial staples such…

Michael Malone’s phone lit up in the middle of his car ride home from the Nuggets’ 29-point win over the Clippers Sunday evening with a text from his starting small forward. Will Barton’s message wasn’t in regards to the three points he scored that night on a paltry 1-6 shooting or his offensive inconsistencies, which through Sunday had been a…

IT’S THE WEEK OF AUGUST 13, 2018, six weeks before training camp would open, and over 1,400 miles away from the Nuggets’ practice court, the foundation for Denver’s 2018-19 season was laid. The venue was Paul Millsap’s state-of-the-art Core 4 facility in Atlanta, Georgia where for one week Denver moved its entire basketball operations department. During the day, spirited 5-on-5…

The Denver Broncos have picked Rich Scangarello as their new offensive coordinator to fix an offense that’s been ailing the franchise since before Super Bowl 50. We went back to Scangarello’s last stop as a play caller at Wagner College and broke down the San Francisco 49ers tape to see what makes him such an appealing play caller with a mix of pro and college concepts.