spread_rebound_s1Denver Nuggets coach George Karl knew what strategies he wanted to use to defend against the New Orleans Hornets in the opening game of the playoffs. But when he talked with his players, he found out they wanted to try something else, writes The Denver Post. So Karl listened–highlighting another important factor in why the Nuggets are doing so well this year.

“George has come a long way, man,” says forward Kenyon Martin. “It’s all part of growing as a team, part of the coach-player relationship. It’s been going on all year. He’s learning more about us, we’re learning more about him, he’s given us a lot more freedom and leeway.”

For more on Karl, read Robert Sanchez’s feature profile from the March issue.