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Michael Malone Forces Stephen A. Smith’s Public Apology After Nuggets’ Game 3 Triumph

The Nuggets’ commanding victory in Game 3 reverberated as a resounding response to critics questioning their championship credentials. With three players scoring over 20 points each, they dismantled Anthony Edwards’ presence on the court, restricting him to a mere 19 points on 15 attempts. Even Stephen A. Smith, who had been vocal in his criticism of Jamal Murray following the Game 2 incident and boldly predicted a sweep by the Timberwolves in the playoff semi-finals, found himself retracting his stance.

During his appearance on ESPN’s NBA Countdown, Smith extended a formal apology to the Denver Nuggets and coach Michael Malone for his earlier remarks. “I must retract and extend my apologies to the Denver Nuggets,” Smith humbly conceded following the Nuggets’ stellar offensive display. The NBA pundit was left awestruck by the performance exhibited by Nikola Jokic and company in the previous game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, acknowledging it as a championship-level performance.

While Smith’s primary agenda was to offer contrition for his previous comments, he couldn’t help but highlight the Nuggets’ remarkable offensive efficiency, shooting an impressive 56% from the field and 53% from beyond the arc. Additionally, he commended Denver’s coach, Michael Malone, whose decisions had come under scrutiny, recognizing him as a championship-caliber coach. “The man [Malone] is a champion. He’s an exceptional coach,” lauded Stephen A. Smith, paying homage to both Malone and the team.

Stephen A. Smith’s Pre-Game 3 Prediction Sets Stage for Apology

Smith’s about-face in demeanor towards the Nuggets post-Game 3 victory stemmed from his pre-game prediction and bold assertion. Drawing parallels between the Nuggets’ predicament in Game 2 and the 1996 Eastern Conference match between the Chicago Bulls and the Orlando Magic, where the MJ-led Bulls dominated the Magic with a scoreline of 121-83, Smith highlighted the Timberwolves’ defensive prowess.

Believing the Nuggets to be rendered powerless in the face of such staunch defense, Smith foresaw a clean sweep by the Minnesota Timberwolves. However, the Nuggets’ resurgence in Game 3 proved to be a formidable rebuttal, showcasing their versatility on both ends of the court and effectively stifling the Timberwolves’ offense.

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