Nikola Jokic’s Scoring Dominance: Is It Hurting the Denver Nuggets’ Collective Attack in the NBA Finals?

2023-06-05 05:52:00

In Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Nikola Jokic logically continued to binge on the paint by scoring 41 points against Miami’s weak interior rotation. Except that paradoxically, the Nuggets lost this match…

Big match in Nikola Jokic’s scoring? You might think there’s something to be happy about on the Nuggets side, but in reality, it’s rarely a good sign that the Joker takes so many shots in a game. It must be remembered that Denver’s attack is clearly the best of these 2023 Playoffs, and if Michael Malone’s men are so good at putting the ball in the basket, it’s because Nikola Jokic is a danger at all levels. in attack. Are you coming to trap at 2? The Serbian pivot immediately punishes with a pass out of nowhere for the friend alone in the corner. You leave Cody Zeller to his own devices? Jokic mashes it up.

Except that when Nikola takes a shot package for him, we lose all the collective aspect of the attack which makes all the offensive force of Denver. Tonight, the pivot laid down a TTFL best pick stat line at 41 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists at 16/28 in shooting and 7/8 in free throws but also 5 ball losses. Nothing to say on an individual level but 4 assists for the Colorado hero is clearly below his standards and symptomatic of an attack lacking in creation. Jokic made the song to Bam, cradled his son Cody Zeller and squashed all the mismatches, but he didn’t serve the buddies as much as usual as the Miami defense clearly prompted the Serbian pivot to do his solo thing . Except that when Jojo has to do everything on his own, it doesn’t really work for the Nuggets in these Playoffs…

Nikola Jokic had 41 points, 11 rebounds but 4 assists. Nuggets are 0-3 this postseason when Jokic scores 40+ points. They are 13-1 when he scores fewer than 40. Those 3 losses in 40-point games are tied for the most by any player in a postseason in NBA history per @ESPNStatsInfo

— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) June 5, 2023

The stat is still remarkable: Denver is 0-3 when Jokic scores more than 40 points, and 13-1 when he does not exceed this threshold. And besides his +/- of -11 on this match confirms this dissonance with the rest of the team. A player like Michael Porter Jr. for example needs the creation of Jokic to bring its usual production; not being a good ball carrier, MPJ cannot really create his shot on his own with good shooting efficiency: in this match he lay a big carrot scores 5 points at 2/8 shooting and 1/6 at 3-point. Few opportunities for him without the creation of the Joker, hampered by Miami’s defensive game plan. And Jamal Murray then? Not enough impact for Jokic’s right arm, apart from its late surge at the end of money time. We will have to show another face in South Beach.

Michael Malone therefore bet on a Jokic Game during the meeting. Bias obvious but questionable when you know the history of this scenario… Miami’s big shots made the difference at the end of the match. See you Wednesday at 2:30 a.m. for Game 3!

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