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Guarding Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić proves to be a formidable task. In Game 1, several players from the Miami Heat learned this the hard way, resulting in a predictable and disastrous 104-93 victory for Denver over Miami.

Game 2, however, presented a different scenario. Jokić put up an impressive 41 points but only managed four assists as the Heat leveled the series at one game apiece.

ESPN reporter Ramona Shelburne pondered on this inconsistency and questioned whether there was a strategy to stop Jokić by forcing him to score rather than distribute the ball.

Miami coach Erik Spoelstra promptly interrupted Shelburne and delivered a cutting response.

“That’s a ridiculous statement… Only an untrained eye would suggest something like that,” retorted Spoelstra. “This guy is an extraordinary player. He has been recognized as the best player on this planet twice in the past two seasons. You can’t simply say, ‘Make him a scorer.’ That’s not their style of play.”

Spoelstra appeared to shake his head and almost chuckled before concluding, “[Jokić] commands our utmost respect.”

Regardless of whether the esteemed coach fully comprehends it or not, the Heat’s defensive efforts against Jokić will undoubtedly become a prominent storyline as the series moves to Miami for Games 3 and 4


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