Jamal Murray’s eyebrow-raising Nikola Jokic dig after Nuggets’ brutal loss to Wizards
The Denver Nuggets currently sit in eighth place in the Western Conference after losing their game Thursday night to the Washington Wizards. Jamal Murray commented on the lack of inside defense, raising a concern that’s taking a subtle dig on superstar center, Nikola Jokic.
“I just thought they had too many layups. Too many layups…We lack a presence in the middle that just can deter layups.” He continues by saying, “So that’s kind of frustrating.”
Jamal Murray isn’t plainly calling out Nikola Jokic’s suspect defense, but it’s clear that the Joker is the main culprit on that end. However, it doesn’t seem like Jamal Murray is wrong with his statement either. Although Jokic is one of the best centers in the league, his lack of defensive prowess has been prominent throughout his career.
This quote came out of nowhere. But to Murray's point, the Nuggets are the NBA's worst team at defending the restricted area. Teams are shooting a league-high 70.2% in the restricted area vs. Denver this season. It's easily the highest mark in the league. NOLA is second at 67.7% https://t.co/geX9TGbHGv
— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) February 26, 2021
There’s still enough time in the season for the Nuggets to right the ship, but stepping up on defense will go a long way. Murray’s right to be frustrated about the poor interior defense, but the team can still find ways to shore up their rim-protection alongside their supertstar center.
The Nuggets roster is stacked with offensive talent. So much so, it’s no wonder this organization struggles so much on defense. Paul Millsap, Will Barton and Michael Porter Jr. are all more known for their offensive abilities.
At the end of the day, it seems this Denver team has to do something to fix the issues on defense. They’re currently relying on their offense, but they’re not where they want to be after a stellar playoff run during the NBA bubble. It very well could be a scheme issue, but at the end of the day, the best players have to step up on both sides of the ball, not just on offense.