Nuggets hold rare practice to make sure players didn’t party too much

Nuggets coach Mike Malone got his players out of bed early to make sure they didn't go too hard on Super Bowl Sunday.
Rocky Widner/Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets found themselves in a unique situation over the past couple of days, and the coaching staff wanted to make sure that their players didn’t make any bad decisions because of it.

The schedule-makers had Denver playing the Knicks in a matinee on Sunday, followed by a game in Brooklyn against the Nets the very next night. With the Super Bowl going on and all of New York’s temptations available thanks to extended time in the city, the Nuggets (via The Denver Post) scheduled a rare morning shootaround to try to keep their players in line.

It was a mild surprise when Nuggets coach Michael Malone called for a Monday morning shootaround in advance of his team’s game against Brooklyn, something almost never done when a team is on the second day of a back-to-back.

“I think the energy this morning, getting them out of bed, making sure all of our players were present and accounted for, in this city, is valuable,” Malone said. “To their credit it was a good shootaround for the situation that we find ourselves in.”

The carrot at the end? Staying in New York. The Nuggets won’t fly to Detroit until Tuesday afternoon, opting to stay in the city that never sleeps after Monday’s game against the Nets. So, Malone said, take care of business now, then hit the town afterward.

Players are adults, and they’re going to do what they want during their free time. But the Denver coaches saw a potential for trouble, and they did what they could to lessen the potential for anything crazy to take place.