After grabbing the ball from a careless pass made by Denver Nuggets players and then putting it back in the basket, Jordan Poole cut the Golden State Warriors’ deficit to just one point with 14 seconds left in the game.
Only A Split Second Later
However, only a fraction of a second later, when the Warriors were still getting back in transition, Nikola Jokic inbounded the ball with a crosscourt heave. After the game, Jokic acknowledged that the play was “a gamble.”
It was a risk that he was more than prepared to take when Bones Hyland lost possession of the ball, which resulted in Poole scoring, and Jokic saw nothing but a horde of Warriors players wearing their shirts.
Jokic said that his teammates needed to have an open mindset. Therefore, he threw the ball 85 feet in the air to reach Bruce Brown, who was completely open, and Brown finished the play by dunking the ball.
The victory was clinched for the Nuggets on Friday night by a score of 128-123 thanks to it and a pair of free throws that were shot a few seconds later.
According to Draymond Green, the Warriors were not caught napping on Jokic’s pass; nonetheless, there was a breakdown in communication amongst the players. In most situations, the Warriors want their center to be back below the other basket. However, Green was the center in this game, and he was trapping the other team’s center.
“Our security personnel have never been put in this situation before. The basket is not protected by the guards, “Green added. “That’s something I might have said to you earlier. I should have conveyed the importance of ensuring that we have a guy back, and that is something that we can gain from.”
In The History of the NBA
Jokic ended the game with 26 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists, giving him his 77th career triple-double. He shot 7-of-13 from the field for his points. In the history of the NBA, Jokic currently has the second-most triple-doubles by a center, behind only Wilt Chamberlain in that category (78).
Jokic was either directly responsible for or assisted on 50 of Denver’s points, but his passing stood out more than any of his other metrics.
Michael Malone, the head coach of the Nuggets, remarked, “Honest to God, we’ve been playing together for eight years now, and [nothing] shocks me.”
“There have been a lot of huge games and a lot of instances when he’s made the big play, the correct play, and the kind of play that changes the game… His intelligence is through the roof. He is now out there playing chess, while the majority of the other men are playing checkers.”
The Nuggets scored 24 points off of Jokic’s passes in their game against the Warriors, hitting 10-of-15 from the field and 4-of-7 from 3-point range. The majority (six) of his assists led to open shots, and three of them occurred when the team was transitioning.
Five different teammates scored off of his passes, but the ones who benefited the most were Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Bruce Brown.
Caldwell-Pope made three of five shots off Jokic assists, while Brown scored four times and dunked the game-winner.
Malone stressed the importance of team chemistry before the game since the Nuggets had just added eight new players (including Caldwell-Pope and Brown) and reintegrated Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.
Malone Encourages Jokic to Speak Out
So, Malone has been pushing Jokic to become a more vocal and instructive leader, rather than merely one who leads by example.
Malone claimed he saw Jokic use the whiteboard many times on Friday, presumably to show his new and younger teammates where he wants them on plays.
“Bruce and Kenny Pope, two of Jokic’s former opponents, may have secretly enjoyed his career end from afar. Nonetheless, being in his presence is quite different from just observing “I quote what Malone has to say. “He simplifies things, but you still need to be on your toes.”
While Denver led by 18 points at halftime, the Warriors rallied in the third and fourth quarters to bring the score to within eight points with roughly five minutes to play.
Ultimately, Stephen Curry scored 34 points on 10-of-22 shooting, while Andrew Wiggins contributed 23 points, eight boards, and nine assists, and Draymond Green scored 13 points.
Denver, though, outscored the Warriors 9-4 in the final minutes to secure the win.
Malone said that the second quarter was one of the team’s finest in a long time against a great opponent. “But we’ve got a lot of mess to straighten up in the last stretch. Still, this is one huge victory. We have roughly 2.5 hours to enjoy it on the aircraft before tomorrow night’s home opener.”