(CTN News) – Nikola Jokić makes more sense if he’s framed as a bruising boxer than a skillful basketball player – exerting force with every possession, throwing his weight around, and you, too.
Since Nikola Joki took only a few shots in the first quarter, many might think he played passively. However, he, like his teammates, has displayed concentration and determination unlike anyone else this postseason.
Nikola Joki’s Finals debut was another triple-double, with 27 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds.
In Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the Denver Nuggets dominated Miami Heat 104-93, demonstrating little rust or jitters on the biggest stage.
Despite being eighth seeds, the Heat and Nuggets have shared a few traits this season. In the first round, neither team trailed, as they both took control of every series.
Heat were on the road against Milwaukee, New York and Boston, which the Nuggets and Nikola Joki’s knew full well coming in. Jokić knew he’d be Heat’s No. 1 scout, so he didn’t fight the power – he just empowered his teammates.
Bam Adebayo was dragged out to the perimeter and Gordon was given the low block, which he punished the smaller guards with. Given the stakes involved, Nikola Joki could have taken a more aggressive tone.
The world is watching, focusing only on these two clubs – diehards and casuals. Jokić could’ve put a clown suit on Adebayo like he did Anthony Davis last round, and wouldn’t have been wrong.
He obliged, but the game demanded something different.
Nikola Joki said he felt weird when playing the game and couldn’t wait to get into it as soon as possible. As far as everything else was concerned, I thought everything was normal, but yesterday or the day before, I think people have inflated something that isn’t there.”
Through the first three quarters of the game, he did not take as many shot attempts as any of the Nuggets’ starters (five), whereas Adebayo had taken 18 more shots.
A lot of the offense was driven by Adebayo, while Joki was still Miami’s only hub of all transmission while everything was run by him.