Home Clippers West Notes: Nuggets, Michael Malone, Clippers, James Harden, Thunder

West Notes: Nuggets, Michael Malone, Clippers, James Harden, Thunder


The new contract extension for Michael Malone will make him among the league’s highest-paid coaches, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.Michael Malone

Malone coached Denver to the championship last season and is already the NBA’s fourth-longest tenured coach — behind the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich, Heat’s Erik Spoelstra and Warriors’ Steve Kerr, respectively.

  • Per Woj: “Under Malone, the Nuggets have the second-best winning percentage in the NBA since the 2018-19 season, trailing only the Milwaukee Bucks, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Malone stands third all-time in games (647) and wins (375) among Nuggets head coaches, behind Doug Moe and George Karl.”


Coach Tyronn Lue said he would like to see James Harden attack the basket more often.

“He’s being too polite,” Lue told reporters after the Clippers’ home loss to the Grizzlies on Sunday, dropping LA to 0-4 since the Harden trade.

Lue took the blame for the rocky start since the deal, as Harden is still adjusting to playing alongside the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Russell Westbrook.

“I think he’s doing too much to try to fit in,” Lue said. “So that’s on me. Just yesterday we had a talk amongst the team and just he has to be James Harden. He led the league in assists the last two or three years, and making plays and what he does in the pick-and-roll, he’s great. So, we have to allow him to be himself.

“I think the whole group hearing that and understanding that — listen, we’re going to play through James, he’s going to run pick-and-rolls, he’s going to make plays. They understood that. And so just letting the group hear that in front of James.

“So now he feels more comfortable, but he doesn’t want to step on anybody’s toes, and I understand that just to have respect for PG, Kawhi, Russ, because they’ve been here. But we need James to be James, and so that’s on me to make sure I make him be James.”


The Thunder’s offensive efficiency has been outstanding through the first 10 games, as relayed in a piece by Ross Lovelace of SI.com.

Obviously, plenty of that has to do with All-NBA guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, as well as Rookie of the Year candidate Chet Holmgren. But so far, OKC has been getting contributions from everyone.

  • Per Lovelace: “Statistically speaking, Oklahoma City ranked No. 8 in points per game and is scoring at an efficient rate. The team is fourth in both field goal percentage and 3-point percentage, which would be a significant jump from a season ago. The Thunder’s offensive rating is good for seventh in the NBA. The team’s true shooting percentage is 60.1%, which ranks third among all teams.”

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