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Film Friday: Our favorite Christmas gifts

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NBA: Sacramento Kings at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re not familiar with Film Fridays, each Friday, I’ll be looking at some recent Denver Nuggets’ games, lineups or something else from a film aspect to try and bring you a piece of content that you’re not getting somewhere else. Feel free to give any feedback positive or negative in the comments or find me on Twitter.

Film Friday is back for the final time in 2020. This year has been absolutely crazy. Since January 1st, we’ve just seen some wild times every month. From the NBA season being stopped in its tracks to the bubble and now the season debuting just a few days before Christmas. Now, we’re seeing a five-game slate on Christmas day that features our Denver Nuggets who are planning to compete with the best of the best in the 2020-21 season.

For today’s Film Friday, we’re taking a look at some of our favorite Nuggets-themed Christmas gifts for 2020. It could be a player, someone’s skill or something else off the wall. Even I don’t know where we’re going to end up at this point. This is meant to be a little loose and fun to end the year on a good note, because, if you’re anything like me, you could really use something like this right now.

If you celebrate Christmas, let me know on my Twitter what your best gift from this year was. If you don’t, let me know the best gift you’ve ever received. I’ll be sure to respond to every single one of you, and let me know what you’re hoping to see on the Film Fridays in 2021. I’m looking to bring you guys the best content every week, and I can’t do that without your feedback.

Nikola Jokic

If Jokic was good at just one thing, this one would be a lot easier. Instead, we’re going to focus on the individual as a whole. Jokic is just an incredible player that is one of the best in the NBA. In this part, we’re looking at his passing. Jokic just might be the best passing big of all time, and his ability on plays like this is incredible. He gets the block on defense and ends the possession with the rebound. He immediately looks down the floor and finds a streaking Gary Harris for the easy dunk. These plays happen every night, and free points like this are an assumption when Jokic is on the floor.

I could choose any number of plays where Jokic scores. He’s arguably the best shooter in the NBA in the clutch, and he has countless game-winners over the last three seasons. Instead, I’m showing his finesse ability. He catches this ball at the top of the key, and he bursts past the smaller Marvin Bagley before bullying him in the paint to get the easy shot. Every time Jokic has the ball in his hands, you can count on him making the right play, and it’s a great gift knowing he’s on our team rather than going against.

Jamal Murray’s Jump Shot

It may not have shown up consistently until the bubble, but Jamal Murray’s jump shot, especially in the mid-range, is just so nice to watch. There isn’t a lot of extra motion in his shooting form, and it’s difficult for any opponent to deal with. On this play against the Utah Jazz, he gets the switch off of the screen, and it’s over from there. Whenever he gets a slight advantage on a defender, he can generate separation with ease thanks to his stepback as he does here.

Later in that same game, Murray goes to work again and proves he can do the same damage against guards and bigs alike. This is Murray vs Donovan Mitchell in a micro-battle between the two best players in the series. Murray sizes him up, and, once he catches him on his back foot, he takes the step back to generate that space he needs to get his shot off cleanly, and it’s over from there. Everyone talks about the James Harden stepback, but the Murray stepback is closing in on that.

Michael Porter Jr.’s Fearlessness

We all need to have the confidence in ourselves as Michael Porter Jr. has in himself. It doesn’t matter what the situation is or who he’s matched up against. In MPJ’s mind, his eye is always glowing neon green. On this play, he is driving on Myles Turner, who is an all-defense caliber center. Does that matter to Porter? No. He gets a little acrobatic and gets the shot to fall. This was from his breakout game in January, and he never stopped playing this way.

Again, it doesn’t matter who Porter is matched up against. He’s going to take the shot if you give him a sliver of daylight. Here, he’s in the Western Conference Finals being guarded by one of the greatest players of all time in LeBron James. It doesn’t matter. James plays just a tad loose on him, and he uses his high release to his advantage to bang home the 3-point shot. Heading into 2021, try to find something that you’re good at and develop this level of confidence in it. Your days will go a lot better if you can find that thing.

For those of you that are still here, remember to leave your feedback in the comments or over on my Twitter, and have a fantastic film-filled Friday.