Denver Nuggets are off to a hot 3-0 start, which includes a win over the Warriors on Sunday. The Sacramento Kings are a surprising 1-2 (surprising from the standpoint that they aren’t 0-3).
Nuggets are coached by Michael Malone, who got his first head coaching job with the Kings in 2013. His Kings coaching career lasted just 106 games, as he was fired 1/4 of the way through his second season. Despite the lack of success from 2013-14 in Sacramento (39-67 overall), he was hired by the Nuggets the next year. Malone is now in his 4th season with the Nuggets and last year’s 46 wins were the most in his career and his first winning season as a head coach. Despite that, the Nuggets missed the playoffs by one game and have missed them all three years he has coached Denver. His overall record with the Nuggets is 119-127.
Malone has been credited with the development of the sensational Nikola Jokic, who over the weekend record the NBA’s first 38 point triple double with zero missed shots. He also gets credit for developing Jamal Murray and Gary Harris, amongst others. Maybe if he had been given more than one year and change in Sacramento (and not saddled with Demarcus Cousins attitude) he could have had more success and developed more guys. Instead, he is guiding a young team who is poised to make their first playoff appearance since 2013.