The Denver Nuggets were never favored to beat the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference semifinals. They were essentially considered finished after falling behind 3-1. Instead of rolling over, the Nuggets came back from two double-digit deficits and forced a decisive Game 7.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone has heard the doubters, and he thinks the team has as well. That perception, he says, is fueling the players ahead of Game 7.

“I almost feel like we’re The Bad News Bears and I’m Coach Buttermaker,” Malone said Monday, via Sean Keeler of the Denver Post.