Heat coach Erik Spoelstra calls Nikola Jokic “very unique” because Miami knows they’ll need the “five guys” to protect the Nuggets star in the NBA Finals.
- Jokic averages a triple-double, with 29.9 pts, 13.3 rebounds and 10.3 assists
- Miami could consider a number of different defensive plans to challenge him
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The Miami Heat know they will have a hard time keeping Nikola Jokic in the NBA Finals.
Denver’s MVP candidate has been phenomenal in the playoffs – averaging 29.9 points, 13.3 rebounds and 10.3 assists in triple-doubles.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra knows his team is going to have a tough streak if they can’t contain the big man from Serbia.
“He’s very unique,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Wednesday. “He doesn’t really have any notable weaknesses in terms of size, skills.
“He’s one of the many ways he can impact the game and impact winning.”
Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic is expected to have a major impact on the NBA Finals
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called Jokic “very unique” and that the two-time MVP winner from Serbia “doesn’t really have any notable weaknesses in terms of size, skill.”
As for how they can make things difficult for the two-time MVP winner, Miami’s Jimmy Butler says the team can’t take a minute from him.
“Keeping him as a team with all five guys,” Butler said. ‘He does everything so well, and we’re going to have to be in the gaps, we’re going to have to bounce back as a gang.
“We cannot have any defensive gaps. We’re just gonna have to deal with this. I think ultimately it’s a major key, as DJ Khaled would say, and we’re going to have to lock ourselves in.
Most of the time, the task of defending Jokic will fall to two-time All-Star Bam Adebayo – who said he will focus on forcing his hand when he has the ball.
“Force him into hard shots and live with the result,” Adebayo said. ‘It’s the most important thing for me.
“I feel like it’s one of those series where he gets really dangerous when you let his teammates get involved, and he can do these amazing passes and end up with 12 assists.”
As for how Jokic prepares to face Miami in Game 1 on Thursday night, he doesn’t seem at all concerned with the defensive pattern generated by the Heat.
Jimmy Butler says the five players on the pitch will be tasked with defending Jokic
“You’ll see tomorrow,” Jokic said on Wednesday when asked about the zone and how it affects his game.
“But we saw the area. We definitely haven’t seen that kind of area, because they switch areas and they really, really mess the game up in their favor.
“We just have to be focused and solid in what we do because that’s why they’re great, that’s why they win, that’s why they’re in the final.
“They ruin the game in their own way, and they do it really well.”