Malone expects growing Nuggets to be tons of fun

Michael Malone, Gary Harris and the Nuggets aim to build off last season’s near-playoff finish.

Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone believes his team will be a team in the truest sense of the word, and a team that will be fun for everyone.

“I think we’re one of the most exciting teams in the NBA to watch,” Malone told reporters. “We talked about our team and our identity, trying to be a team that defends and rebounds at a high level, that will allow us to get out and run with discipline, and we’ve got to value and share the basketball. Those are things that we talk about all the time.”

With the likes of Gary Harris, Jamal Murray and eventually Isaiah Thomas in the backcourt, and a frontcourt featuring Paul Millsap and Nikola Jokic, Malone may be right. The Nuggets may very well put on quite a show.

“If you’re just an average fan, we are a team that is really unselfish, that plays up-tempo, that plays the game the right way,” Malone said. “You’re not going to see 17-dribble possessions with one-on-one (isolation). The ball is going to move. And we’ve got guys that genuinely care for each other. You can see it.”

The Nuggets finished 46-36 last season and just missed the playoffs. Their record has improved in each of Malone’s first three seasons — from 33-49 to 40-42 to last year’s mark. Another year of that trend and the Nuggets have a shot at being this season’s best basketball story.

At the very least, they are a team that Malone feels will be worthy of fan’s attention.

“I can say it, but I think you as a fan when you watch us play you can see us on the floor, the way we play, that we’re really invested in each other,” Malone said. “We don’t play just with each other, we play for each other.”

The Nuggets open the preseason vs. LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday in San Diego.