As a reigning MVP, smaller things often become huge things. For Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, even a tiny change can have huge implications.
That’s exactly what made last Saturday’s intra squad battle, which came many days before Denver’s campaign tipped off in Phoenix, so notable.
The starting group had gotten blasted by the team reserves. The yield was as rampant as the defensive failures, and the communication, as per coach Michael Malone, was made-up.
Jokic, who's an incredible bag of basketball skills doesn’t involve calling out his colleagues.
Jokic’s message, as communicated by Malone via best au online casino: "Guys, we are bad. We’re just running up and down. We’re not doing anything. We don’t know our plays. We’re not playing our defense, and we’re going to get our (butt) kicked on Wednesday."
If there was a bright side to Malone’s frustration that Saturday, it was that. His only criticism of Jokic’s message was that it came after, and not during the mess.
It was two days later – during Monday’s training session – that positives eventually came to light.
Asked whether the problems that arose from Saturday’s melee were discussed, veteran Will Barton busted into laughter.
"Definitely got addressed, for sure, it got addressed," he said.
The Veteran said he, Jokic, Malone, and other coaches got on the side following their abysmal training.
Jokic, as per Monte Morris’ recollection, told the group they’d lose by 40 if they brought the same level of attention to Phoenix in the season-opening game.
"Everybody listens," Morris disclosed of Jokic’s words. "MVP. The best player on our team. For him to speak up like that, speaks volumes to where he sees this team going because if he didn’t see any potential in this team, he wouldn’t have spoken up. He did that and it kind of lit a fire up under everybody."
On Wednesday against Phoenix, the Denver Nuggets exacted a little measure of revenge against the Phoenix Suns, who swept them in the playoffs. Led by Jokic’s impressive 27 points and 13 rebounds stat, Denver Nuggets authored a clinic against the reigning Western Conference victors. To Jokic’s happiness, six players ended in double figures while Will Barton and Michael Porter Jr. led the side with five assists each.
Malone agreed it was a sparse instance, but he also confirmed Jokic has improved in asserting himself. And while last Saturday’s issues were absolutely tense, Jokic has also talked in less-tensed environments. During practice, it hasn’t been uncommon for him to re-position a screener.
Specifically asked why he opted to speak up after the issue, Jokic said via online casinos: "I don’t know, to be honest. I made a mistake, probably."
Jokic doesn’t like talking about his MVP crown, he said the award brings him responsibilities that come with such feat. It’s part of his mood; some parts appear humble, bashful, and coy all at the same time. Jokiclikes to go about his personal business without sharing the confidence, even though his leadership may be the single largest ingredient to the Nuggets’ championship recipe.