Malone says future of Nuggets, Murray is 'bright'

Mike Malone is optimistic about the Denver Nuggets' future.

The Nuggets lost Game 7 of the Western Conference semi-finals against the Portland Trail Blazers 100-96 at home on Sunday.

Despite the defeat, Malone believes the team are trending in the right direction.

"The future is so bright. You guys heard me say it all postseason," Malone said.

"I love where we're at, but more importantly I love where we're going and who we're going there with."

The Nuggets had the youngest team in this year's postseason. Their roster was headlined by All-Star center Nikola Jokic and blossoming guard Jamal Murray.

Paul Millsap, 34, has the most postseason experience of the group, who were forced to Game 7s twice in this year's playoff stint.

Despite their lack of experience, Denver weathered the storm and finished the regular season as the second best team in the Western Conference.

Malone emphasised that Murray is expected to be very important to the team moving forward after he struggled shooting in the Nuggets' chance to close out Portland.

"We won 61 games this year," Malone said.

"It's been over 10 years, I think, since we've won that many games. And Jamal will be a huge part of that future. Going into the offseason having a game like he had, you know, four of 18 from the field. That's going to be a great motivational tool for him.

"Great players bring it every night and they produce every night. He [Murray] didn't have a great night, but it wasn't for a lack of effort. We would not be here without Jamal Murray's efforts all season long."

Murray averaged 21.3 points through his first 14 career playoff games.

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