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Real honor or psychological warfare? Miami gushes about Jokic, and "It's not innocent" - voila! sport

2023-06-04T10:51:13.620Z

Highlights: Miami Heat players praise Denver Nuggets stars Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. The Heat are 2-1 behind in the NBA Finals, and falling behind 70-2 would already be a big hole. ESPN understands that at least some of Miami's statements do not illustrate their authentic enthusiasm for Denver's stars. But the U.S. understands that the statements are at least partially related to an attempt to "put Joker and Murray to sleep" for Game 2 and shift the pressure in their direction.


Authentic admiration or anesthesia tactics? After the viral video illustrating Jokic's "genius," Jimmy Butler praises the underrated part of his game


Denver Nuggets players after winning Game 1 of the Finals (from Twitter)

Miami knows that a loss tonight (Sunday through Monday, 3 p.m.) in Game 00 of the NBA Finals against Denver will make its chances of winning a sensational championship low. The Heat are 2-1 behind after losing 0-104 in Game 93, and know the stats aren't in their favor. 1% of the teams that won the first game of the Finals series in history went all the way to the ring, and falling behind 70-2 would already be a big hole.

Maybe that's why, ahead of the game, Miami's players sailed with compliments to Denver stars Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. "The Joker moves his legs very well defensively. He's a tremendous defensive rebounder, and knows how to pull out offenses at the highest level. Everyone talks about his offensive abilities, but he's not only an offensive player, he's also a great guard," Jimmy Butler said of Jokic.

Further reinforcement of Butler's comments came from a video that went viral in the days after the first game of the series. The video shows Jokic spotting while standing on the penalty line, an offensive drill that the Heat are marking, and briefing his teammates accordingly. In the defensive posse that follows, he grabs a pass intended for Bam Adebayo, in a move that demonstrates his unique game smarts.

"I do think I'm a better guard than people think. Maybe I deserve some kind of award," Jokic joked ahead of tonight's game.

A player of two sides? Jokic (Photo: Reuters)

Jokic and Jamal Murray combined for 53 points in Game 1 and were directly responsible for 87 points, either on their direct baskets or assists. ESPN commentator J.J. Redick already declares that "they're the best duo in the NBA today," and Jimmy Butler agrees.

"They're good at everything. They can score 50 points each on a given night, but they also love to deliver, and enjoy engaging their teammates. The combination of them is great," says the Miami star.

Veteran Kyle Lowry also agrees that the combination of the two is extraordinary, even daring to compare it to other historic pairings. "I got to play against Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, and the combination was similar. Jamal and Jokic are deadly together, both can shoot and pass, and have great chemistry. The combination between them is very good."

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Will the anesthesia tactic work? (Photo by Getty Images, Jamie Schwaberow)

But the U.S. understands that at least some of Miami's players' statements do not illustrate their authentic enthusiasm for Denver's stars, but are at least partially related to an attempt to "put Jokic and Murray to sleep" for Game 2 and shift the pressure in their direction.

"Miami enjoys being the underdog the most. She knows that the conversation about Jokic's historic status and the headlines about the lack of appreciation for Jamal Murray, all of that only serves her," ESPN explained.

  • sport
  • NBA

Tags

  • Denver Nuggets
  • Miami Heat

Source: walla

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