DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl told CBS4’s Vic Lombardi he likes that the division rival Oklahoma City Thunder is heading to the NBA championship game.

“We like to win the division because it pushes us to know that you’ve got to play great basketball,” Karl said. “Matchups in the first round; we’ve got to get better and I think, Oklahoma City, we like it because we’re modeled a little bit like them.”

He said maybe the Nuggets don’t have a Kevin Durant or a Russell Westbrook, but his team has a depth of talent that he thinks is only going to get better.

As for being active in the offseason, Karl thinks the Nuggets are going to be more alert to what other teams are doing to see what pieces teams are interested in moving.

“We’re happy with our team. It was the first time in my career that I can remember; there wasn’t one guy who I was angry at … I’m kind of thinking that might be bad; I’m losing my touch or something,” Karl joked.

There’s no doubt the Nuggets need a better three-point shooter.

“We need to make more shots. We had our opportunities this year, but the stats; when we made 10 threes we were ridiculous. We were like 12-1 and we just need games where we knock down the open three.”

Nuggets fans are all waiting for Danilo Gallinari to go from good player to great player. But what’s it going to take for him to make that move?

“Both years it looked like he was moving in that direction and he got hurt. And then when he came back from his injuries he never kind of regained that edge or that confidence that comes,” Karl said. “So I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt that he’s ready to make that step.”

Karl said he’s happy Gallinari is playing for the Italian team this summer and he likes young players to be on the court.

“I think that we’re all confident that Gallo is going to come back and our key with Gallo I think is stay healthy.”

Karl says he thinks Andre Miller will re-sign.

“He loves Denver, he lives in Denver. He lived in Denver even when he wasn’t (playing) for Denver.”

But Miller has said he wants to play for a championship contender.

“I think he knows we’re close. I think he liked what happened in the Los Angeles series; and we need him, man. He and Ty (Lawson) just makes it so much fun to coach.”

Everybody is crying about how the “flop” has changed the NBA, blaming it on foreign players for importing the move. Lombardi said he looked up some old footage of Karl playing in the 1970s.

“Oh, I was a flopper,” Karl laughed. “Carolina; I was flopping all over the place. I took more charges that no one hit me on in a long time. But I agree that it’s gotten a little bit crazy. It’s gotten out of control … I think the league has got it on their priority list.”

Karl said when something gets on the NBA’s priority list, it’s usually cleaned up pretty fast.


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