Nuggets coach calls team’s defense ‘worst in the NBA’

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 23, 2016, in Denver. The Hawks won 109-108. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone had a few choice words for the way his team plays defense, calling it “embarrassing” and the worst in the NBA.

Malone's words came after Denver lost the Sacramento Kings 120–113 at home on Tuesday night. It was Denver's third straight loss.

“It's a losing proposition,” Malone said. “Offense sells tickets; defense wins championships. Right now our defense is the worst in the NBA.”

“No veteran leadership stepping up, don't hear anyone speaking, taking the lead,” Malone added. “We have two young guys trying to speak up on the team, which you applaud, but you need some leadership to shine and step up.”

This season, Denver ranks 28th in defensive efficiency, and allows opponents to shoot 47%, which is 27th in the NBA.

“We have the worst defense in the NBA,” Malone said. “That is the bottom line. It is embarrassing how we go out and attempt to defend every night. That is something that we have to try and fix as soon as possible, because it's at an all-time low right now, and that is a huge concern of mine.”

Denver, who have missed the playoffs in each of past three seasons, is 14–21 this season, which is 10th in Western Conference.

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