Former NBA Starter Reveals Wild Way For Heat To Stop Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

NBA champion Channing Frye believes the Miami Heat should put Cody Zeller on Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic.

Yes, he’s being serious.

Heat center Bam Adebayo is one of the best defenders in the NBA. However, even he was no match for Jokic in Game 1 of the 2023 Finals. The Joker had 27 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists while shooting 66.7% from the field and 83.3% from the free-throw line.

“I feel like early in the game, miscommunications caused a lot of our guys to not talk enough,” Adebayo said after the Heat lost Game 1 to the Nuggets. “Miscommunications, and a lot of guys were open in the first half. I feel like going into the second half, we definitely got better with the cadence and talked through it more.”

NBA NEWS & FINALS COVERAGE: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets & Miami Heat Updates

There is no way Zeller can do a better job on Jokic than Adebayo, who put together a nice offensive outing in Game 1. The All-Star had 26 points, 13 rebounds and five assists in 40 minutes of action. Adebayo thought he was given more space in the paint than he expected.

“Definitely. And also, I made open shots,” Adebayo said. “I made the shot that I usually shoot.”

Game 2 is on Sunday, June 4. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is one of the smartest coaches in NBA history. With that said, Miami probably won’t take Frye’s advice and put Zeller on Jokic.

NBA NEWS & FINALS COVERAGE: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets & Miami Heat Updates

“They are in a pretty good rhythm, especially in that first half,” Spoelstra said. “Our disposition, the multiple efforts, the resolve in the second half was much better. But you get to this level, it has to be complete games of that kind of disposition. Even if you have that, you are not always going to win all the possessions that you want.

“But that’s what you expect. You don’t expect it to be easy when you get to this Final round. This is a great challenge. It’s going to require more. We will get to work and see what we can do better, what we can do harder, what we can do with more effort, what we can do with more focus, etc.”

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