During his introductory press conference today, new Nuggets head coach Michael Malone was quick to dispel the notion that he’s going to slow the pace of play in Denver. In fact, he didn’t even give the gathered media a chance to ask a question on the topic before he addressed it head on.

Here is that quote, and others of note about pace of play and his two marquee players, from Malone’s first press conference as head coach of the Denver Nuggets…

Malone: “I know once we open it up for questions all we’re going to talk about is pace and how I’m a guy that wants to walk the ball up the floor. I have coached 106 games as an NBA head coach. Don’t paint me and don’t put me in a hole by saying, ‘This is who you are.'”

Malone: “I believe in playing fast. But more importantly to me is playing with efficiency. 12 years in a row now Denver has been top-five in pace of play. What they’ve gotten away from is being efficient on the offensive end and being a team that defends at a high level … we will be a team that defends, rebounds and runs with purpose and we’re going to use that altitude to our advantage.”

Malone: “The game is getting faster. It’s a pace game. The game is becoming a 3-point shooting game … It’s a testament to the way the game is going, with a lot of the small ball that’s being played, and I think that if you have players that are capable of playing in that manner it’s great to use them in that way.”

Malone: “You can have the best plays in the world – generate a wide open look – but if you’re last in the league in uncontested shot percentage that’s going to make it tough.”

Malone: “Our whole motivation is going to be when you defend and you rebound your reward is run. I’m not making calls. Ty Lawson can go and attack. He is at his best when he’s in the open court where he can make plays for his teammates…”

Malone: “You go to the draft combine and everybody wants to measure a guy’s vertical and how quick he is. But I think one thing there’s no stat for is a guy’s heart and his motor. And I think Kenneth (Faried) embodies that and he’s a guy that I’ve always respected from afar.”