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Brendan Vogt

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Nikola Jokić – A  Jokić was tremendous against the Jazz, who fell back into the strategy of drastic staggering and tons of Rudy Gobert minutes alongside the second unit. The Jazz had no answer for Jokić once he actually caught the ball, but that proved distressingly tricky for the Nuggets once again. Denver’s starters did enough to win their minutes…...

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Nikola Jokić – A Jokić needed only to apply pressure for a select and timely duration. Dwight Howard found himself in early foul trouble, and Jokić flipped a switch when he recognized the opportunity. He went right at Howard, forcing fouls and cooking overzealous defense. He took Howard out of the game, then shifted down from attack mode to opportunist.…...

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Nikola Jokić – A- Jokić appeared content with only 28:27 of playing time against the Blazers. He seemed unbothered by the wide-open threes from Jusuf Nurkić and the possibility of another meltdown at the half. Denver played healthy and happy basketball against Portland, and their best player didn’t need to dig deep for an MVP-worthy performance. He finished with 20…...

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Nikola Jokić – A- Jokić turned it over too many times and only got 14 shots up. Neither rests solely on his shoulders, as poor spacing helped lead to the former, and worse entry passing led to the latter. Denver spent the second half figuring out how to get their reigning MVP the ball, which was futile. Malone closed with…...

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Nikola Jokić – B Nikola Jokić didn’t look too interested in dominating the Thunder. The starters got off to a crisp and balanced effort in the first quarter, and Hercules caught a whiff off a day off. He threw two disrespectful passes in the first, the first qualifying in its audacity, the second in its apathy. Jokić did make his…...

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Nikola Jokić – A+ On another night, Jokić might have let the referees get to his head. He might’ve taken himself out of the game, or earned a technical foul, or maybe an ejection. We headed that way Friday night, but Jokić caught himself and took a different approach. Instead, he directed his fury at the Kings, scoring through the…...

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Nikola Jokić – A+ Jokić was phenomenal against double-teams, triple-teams, and a lot of contact in the paint. As a playmaker, he picked Utah apart and sped up the pace to beat the help as a scorer. Without Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside, the Jazz couldn’t keep Jokić off the glass either. He finished with 26 points, 21 rebounds, and…...

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Nikola Jokić – A The Dallas Mavericks knew precisely how they wanted to guard Jokić alongside a depleted starting lineup. They doubled him every time he touched the ball. They were willing to front him and dare Denver’s guards to drop entry passes over the top. The blueprint is out on stopping the shorthanded Nuggets, but that didn’t stop Jokić…...

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Facundo Campazzo – A+ The hardship Nuggets took on a shorthanded Houston Rockets team with issues bubbling just underneath the surface. By halftime, Facu incited eruption. Per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, neither Christian Wood nor Kevin Porter Jr. checked into the second half, with Porter Jr. leaving the arena at halftime. Can you blame him? https://twitter.com/DNVR_Nuggets/status/1477464459899662338?s=20 Campazzo logged a career-high 22…...

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Nikola Jokić – B+ With no Jamal Murray, Draymond Green, Michael Porter Jr., or Klay Thompson, Jokić vs. Curry took up even more space in the spotlight. It was MVP vs. MVP, with little help and no excuses—a prize fight in the muck. In the end, what we’ve come to appreciate about each player was reinforced. They’re team-oriented superstars, and…...

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Nikola Jokić – B+ The Clippers switched everything for most of the game, more than willing to leave a smaller defender on Jokić and front hard while Denver panicked in the face of slightly difficult entry passes. Denver’s guards were tentative and incapable on that front, and the Clippers doubled hard when Jokić did touch the ball. It was hard…...

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Nikola Jokić – C+ Jokić was aggressive from the jump, taking six shots in the first four minutes of action. His touch disappeared on him, and he opened 3 of 11 from the floor. He ultimately took 34 shots on the night, only hitting 13. In doing so, he became the first Nuggets player to miss 21 shots in a…...

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“I didn’t think they deserved that opportunity.” Michael Malone Nikola Jokić – C+ On the same night that Malone lobbied for All-Defensive recognition, Jokić no-showed in OKC. He got torched on defense and couldn’t be bothered to dominate despite a great matchup. Between his teammate’s poor awareness and Jokić’s minimal effort, he barely touched the ball in the paint before…...

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Nikola Jokić – A Jokić picked up some ill-advised fouls and ultimately missed chunks of the game in foul trouble. He dominated when he played, finishing with 20 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals. He shot 8 of 12 from the field, and one of the misses was a heave at the buzzer. Jokić’s passing was remarkable, and…...

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Nikola Jokić – B+ Jokić was excellent offensively, notching yet another triple-double and passing James Harden on the all-time list. Next up: Wilt Chamberlain. However, he was outscored by Karl Anthony-Towns, as Denver failed to make anyone uncomfortable on the other end. That’s not all his fault, as the lack of perimeter defense is putting everyone in a tough spot.…...

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Nikola Jokić – A+ Let’s get the nitpicks out of the way. Jokić played loose in the fourth quarter with a big lead remaining — fair game when that lead was once 30-plus — which became suddenly consequential when he (allegedly) earned an ejection. The lead had dwindled, and once Jokić sat, the bottom fell out. The Wizards’ furious rally…...

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“I know it may sound strange to most people, but there’s a huge difference going home 4-3 as opposed to 3-4.” Michael Malone Nikola Jokić – A+ Jokić’s final box score is ridiculous: 35 points (14 of 24), 17 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks, and 1 steal in 34:12 on the court. We’re used to insane lines from him, but…...

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Nikola Jokić – B+ The good: Jokić recorded another triple-double, tying James Harden for seventh-most in NBA history with 62. The bad: Jokić’s three-point shooting and defense — particularly the latter. The Nuggets couldn’t contain the perimeter, and a tired Jokić, already tasked with saving the offense, didn’t have enough in the tank to step up and help. His defense…...

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“When the game is on the line, and we need a basket, the ball is going to (Jokić).”   Michael Malone Nikola Jokić – A Jokić wasn’t particularly interested in playing defense in New Orleans. Nor did he appear keen on leading by example with body language. But none of that matters when he drops 39, 11, and 11 on…...

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“We come out at halftime, and we stink.” Michael Malone Nikola Jokić – B Jokić picked up a quick-triple double against an aggressive Chicago Bulls defense. The Bulls sent help whenever Jokić even considered scoring, resulting in playmaking mode. Jokić picked up three assists in the first five minutes of game time and looked to be cruising, but the lead…...

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