For Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic, their Game 2 loss to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals boils down to two things: effort and discipline.

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone highlighted the lack of effort from his players after the Heat manhandled them in the fourth quarter to erase Denver's eight-point lead heading to the frame, and Jokic couldn't help but agree with his coach. The Serbian big man emphasized that their effort “cannot be a question” at this point of the year when they are vying for the top prize in all of basketball.

“We just didn't play well, the right way in the fourth quarter. They scored 36 points in the fourth quarter. That's too much, of course. They got a couple of rebounds. It was just — happened to be like that,” Jokic admitted.

Jokic also made sure to point out how the Nuggets lacked discipline, particularly on the defensive end. They allowed the Heat shooters to thrive and make 17 triples on 35 attempts, which proved to be a huge difference-maker since the Nuggets went 11-of-28 from deep on the other end of the floor.

In a stern challenge for his Denver teammates, Jokic shared the need for them to get back that “discipline” they showed in Game 1. If not, he fears they'll be in trouble.

“… They scored 17 threes, they shoot 48 percent, which is really, really good, of course. Just I think be disciplined, just if somebody is running, run him off — I think the discipline is the key for us. If you are not disciplined, if we're going to have a breakdown, it's not going to be a long series, of course. Just because they are punishing you as soon as you make mistakes. Hopefully we're going to be disciplined for next game,” Jokic said when asked what can be done in Game 3 to limit Miami's shooting.

It remains to be seen if the Nuggets will be able to respond to Jokic's challenge and bounce back. However, they can't give the Heat too much confidence, especially when they play at home in front of the fiery Miami crowd.