1. Jerami Grant really stood out on rewatch of this game and for a few surprising reasons, most notably the height mismatch that he found himself with in the post and on the wing. The Spurs play small to begin with and the Nuggets played big with Grant occupying the small forward position alongside Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap or alongside Mason Plumlee and Michael Porter Jr. who drew San Antonio’s tallest forward defender. That left Grant with guard sized defenders on more than a few occasions and the Nuggets were able to exploit that by allowing him to operate out of the post.
2. One of my favorite plays of the game and a beautiful job in the PnR by PJ Dozier.
3. Monte Morris has a lot of Chris Paul in his game, perhaps from his experience learning from the future hall of fame point guard as detailed by Mike Singer in yesterday’s Denver Post. In the clip below, watch how perfectly he freezes the dropping big man in his pick and roll attack with Nikola Jokic, luring the big to release early and vacate the paint.
4. One of the most exciting aspects of Porter’s game is how much panic he puts into the defense. After opening the game with 10 of the team’s first 14 points, the Spurs were sticking closely to Porter off ball along the perimeter. That spacing allowed Jokic and Morris to get into the paint out of the pick and roll.
5. One of Jokic’s sneaky valuable and consistent talents is his ability to make offensive players guess wrong when they are attacking him 2 on 1 out of a pick and roll. That talent paired alongside his quick hands and longer-than-you-realize reach helps him come up with steals like the one below very frequently.
6. Another sneaky skill of Jokic’s is his suction cup hands that swallow up rebounds and loose balls.
7. Maybe this is something and maybe it is nothing but Jokic has kept his cool with the officials through 3 games in the bubble and he was calmly working Ed Malloy at halftime of last night’s game. Jokic got a great whistle in the second half of the game, picking up fouls against Rudy Gay and others who were trying to body him inside. Is Jokic slowly growing out of his short tempered phase and slowly entering his wise veteran phase?
8. Michael Porter Jr. got caught helping one pass away off of the corner, a cardinal sin in the NBA.
9. Plays like the one below can get buried following Porter Jr.’s efficient performance and Jokic’s steady brilliance but this shot was as important as any one in the game. The Spurs were on a run and Jokic had just missed what seemed to be an attempt at forcing a shot to stop the bleeding. The Nuggets got a fast break and Millsap took a shot that, if he missed, probably would’ve led to the Nuggets falling behind by double figures. He drained it. And it’s worth noting how Paul Millsap seems to routinely knock down shots like that in key moments, even as his usage has plummeted.
The Full List