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Mason Plumlee

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After Denver's grind-it-out 91-89 win over the Dallas Mavericks where the Nuggets held Dirk Nowitzki and Co. to 40.0 percent shooting, Malone praised his starting center and said Denver wouldn't have secured the victory without his play on the defensive end of the floor. He also chided some members of the media for their opinions of Plumlee and his value to the team.

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Nuggets coach Michael Malone was having flashbacks while his team rolled past the New York Knicks 130-118 on Thursday. Instead of playing the grind-it-out basketball he'd grown accustomed to seeing in 2018, the Nuggets went back to simply outscoring their opponent for a night, a style they relied heavily on in 2017. Denver's performance defensively left a lot to be desired. But on offense, the Nuggets finally busted out. They shot 60 percent from the floor and handed out 36 assists, numbers Malone attributed in part to a tweak Mason Plumlee made.

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Front and center of Denver's offensive shortcomings is Nikola Jokic. His scoring average has dropped from 18.4 points per game in December to 16.1 per game in January. Jokic is also shooting 40.6 percent from the field in 2018—a startling and uncharacteristic mark for the typically efficient Serbian—and has hit just 16 of his last 67 threes across the past two months.

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Wind and Clark discuss the events that unfolded at Monday’s Nuggets’ practice, if this is the end of the Nikola Jokic and Mason Plumlee frontcourt and other notes about Denver’s probable rotation against the Dallas Mavericks Tuesday night.

Rundown

0.00 – Warriors/Cavs MLK special

4:30 – Recapping an eventful Monday practice

7:30 – RIP Poker?

9:30 – Will Barton’s comments on “space”

12:00 – Denver’s priority over the next two weeks

18:00 – Richard Jefferson vs. Torrey Craig

22:00 – Jefferson’s presence on a young roster

27:00 – Denver/Dallas II

31:00 – Odds of a big Nikola Jokic game

On Monday, Nuggets coach Michael Malone was asked if there was any connection between his team's recent scoring woes and the Jokic-Mason Plumlee supersized starting lineup. Malone refused to blame the Jokic-Plumlee combination but hinted that a lineup change could be coming on Tuesday against a Dallas Mavericks team that plays plenty of small ball.

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Wind and Clark break down the Denver’s Nuggets ugly 87-78 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Notes on Nikola Jokic’s night, Will Barton finding hit shot, Trey Lyles’ struggles from the free-throw line and Malik Beasley’s defense. Also a recap of how Jokic and Mason Plumlee have fared as front court partners and how their production compares to what Jokic and Trey Lyles have done on the floor when playing together.

Rundown

0:00 – An ugly victory

3:30 – Beasley’s big night

6:00 – Beasley’s upside and future role in the league

13:00 – Pros and cons of Jokic/Plumlee

17:30 – Pros and cons of Jokic/Lyles

20:30 – Is a starting lineup change coming?

24:00 – Western Conference playoff race

25:30 – Will Barton’s night and what’s behind his recent struggles

30:30 – Why is Lyles struggling from the free-throw line?

32:00 – Barton’s Instagram game remains strong

33:00 – Huarache for life

The element of surprise in basketball can manifest itself in a number of different ways. James Harden incorporates it every time he fakes a step-back jumper, blows by his defender and gets to the rim. Stephen Curry uses it when he pulls up for three a couple steps inside the half-court line. Mason Plumlee is a magician in his own right.

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