The Denver Nuggets will retain Michael Malone as head coach next season.

The Nuggets finished one game out of the playoffs.

“There’s improvement across all levels of our team,” Connelly said. “I guess (questioning Malone’s job status is) the unfortunate narrative of  professional basketball, but ‘Mo’s done a fantastic job.’ ”

Malone has one season remaining on his current contract.

“Over the last several weeks of the season, I thought ‘Mo did just a brilliant job kind of using our roster, being creative and thinking outside the box,” Connelly said. “I can’t say enough (about) how proud of him and his staff I am, faced with insurmountable odds after a rough start to (a seven-game) road trip…

“We had every chance to lay down, and we did the opposite. I think our coaching staff should be lauded for a fantastic job.”