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  • Poor quarter from Jokic. Missed a number of crucial shots turned the ball over and at the end lost his temper, giving away a technical foul.

    He needs a rest.

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    • The late game officiating has been horrendous. The Nets were getting blown out in the first half and then come out super physical in the second half and by the time the 4th rolled around it was a no holds barred match down in the paint when the Nets were on defense. I don’t think the last little hook shot by Jokic was a foul, but the one before that, that Green inexplicably dropped out of bounds, yes he was fouled about 3 times on the way up.

      Perception is a dumb thing for refs in the NBA, Jokic is perceived as unathletic and not a guy who jumps high. As a result, the landing space foul does not apply to him nearly the same way it does other players. Players are allowed to land on his legs and they do it quite often but it’s rarely called. Jokic is perceived as a very strong player, so defenders are allowed to hand check, push, shoulder check, and hip check a lot as long as they don’t slap down on his arms. If the Pelicans think Zion should be shooting a lot more free throws, then Jokic should be getting at least 25 FTAs a game.

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      • Well the Clippers lost today putting us 1 game behind them. Unfortunately they have a pretty easy schedule from here on out so unless they try to manipulate their first matchup I think they finish 3rd. We have a pretty easy schedule too aside from our last game against Portland, we will need to win out to have a shot at 3rd.

        Not sure if I’d rather face Dallas or Portland though. Both present their own matchup problems for us in different ways even though I like our chances against both as long as we start getting some guys back.

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        • So after our bench unit allowed the Hornets back to within 5 after being up by 20, Malone’s solution was to put in Howard over Cancar. It does give us more scoring, but having 2 guards who are 5’10” or less is rough defensively.

          If Malone wants to lock up this 4 seed tonight, he can’t rest Jokic until the 6 minute mark.

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          • Originally posted by beastlyskronk View Post
            So after our bench unit allowed the Hornets back to within 5 after being up by 20, Malone’s solution was to put in Howard over Cancar. It does give us more scoring, but having 2 guards who are 5’10” or less is rough defensively.

            If Malone wants to lock up this 4 seed tonight, he can’t rest Jokic until the 6 minute mark.
            In the end we held on, but the formulaic approach we apply to the minutes Jokic plays (irrespective of the game situation) is a concern. He always plays as follows:
            1st Q: 10-12 minutes
            2nd Q: last 6 mins
            ​​​3rd Q: 10-12 minutes
            4th Q: last 6 minutes

            Malone is going to need to be more flexible in the playoffs.

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            • Originally posted by GMTD View Post

              In the end we held on, but the formulaic approach we apply to the minutes Jokic plays (irrespective of the game situation) is a concern. He always plays as follows:
              1st Q: 10-12 minutes
              2nd Q: last 6 mins
              ​​​3rd Q: 10-12 minutes
              4th Q: last 6 minutes

              Malone is going to need to be more flexible in the playoffs.
              I think he is trying some things, but it seems to be with everyone but Jokic. MPJ came in at the top of the 4th and held down the fort well. But I agree in the long run he needs to be more flexible with Jokic because IMO I think it takes him out of his rhythm especially when he has to go from facilitating to scoring and vice versa.

              I think 8 minutes in the first then come in around the 10-8 minute mark in the 2nd to close out the half and then rinse and repeat in the 2nd half depending on game flow/situation would make more sense to me than the current rotation he’s on. It gives him plenty of time to build a lead going into the half vs giving him a little bit of time to try and find a rhythm and undo the lack of offense from our bench unit.

              Plus I think MPJ and/or Aaron Gordon should almost always be on the court when Jokic is off or at least Rivers. And if it’s Aaron Gordon by himself I’d experiment with giving him some isolation looks and letting him create for himself a bit even though it seems to be against the team philosophy. I understand injuries have depleted our depth but that bench can be really bad on the offensive end at times despite some great effort on defense.

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              • At the end of last season who would have guessed our starting back court in the playoffs would be Facu and Austin Rivers? IMO going into the playoffs our biggest issue is bench scoring. We have the best first quarter offense in the NBA but we don't have any consistent scoring coming off the bench. Monte being back helps and hopefully Barton can get back soon. Barton can be frustrating at times but with Murray out we need his scoring.

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                • McGee and Jokic starting together tonight

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                  • Originally posted by beastlyskronk View Post
                    McGee and Jokic starting together tonight
                    Together they pretty much bullied MN with offensive boards. Everyone can play with Joker except Nurcic.

                    It will be interesting to see if Malone tries to manipulate the seedings in the last game against Portland. It may be a situation where if we beat them the last game we'll play the Mavs and if we lose that last game we will face Portland. I don't think the Lakers can mathematically make it to 5 because they lose tie breakers against the Mavs and Portland...but I could be wrong.

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                    • Originally posted by lvbronx View Post

                      Together they pretty much bullied MN with offensive boards. Everyone can play with Joker except Nurcic.

                      It will be interesting to see if Malone tries to manipulate the seedings in the last game against Portland. It may be a situation where if we beat them the last game we'll play the Mavs and if we lose that last game we will face Portland. I don't think the Lakers can mathematically make it to 5 because they lose tie breakers against the Mavs and Portland...but I could be wrong.
                      In my view we should try to win our remaining games and whatever happens elsewhere happens. There isn't a great deal to choose anyway between the Mavs, the Blazers and the Lakers.

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                      • Clippers losing to the Rockets, possibly on purpose to try to avoid the Lakers (should the Lakers finish in 6th). Small team mentality.

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                        • So many different thoughts on whether we should play to win tonight (and face the Lakers in Round 1 of the playoffs); or rest the starters and probably lose (in which case we force the Lakers into the play-in tournament, and will face the Blazers in Round 1).

                          In my view, we should always play to win.

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                          • Well hopefully we’re getting all our bad play out tonight. But Portland will be rough if Dozier or Barton can’t return in time. Barton is closer than Dozier according to Malone so here’s hoping he can make it back and give our offense a boost.

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                            • Originally posted by beastlyskronk View Post
                              Well hopefully we’re getting all our bad play out tonight. But Portland will be rough if Dozier or Barton can’t return in time. Barton is closer than Dozier according to Malone so here’s hoping he can make it back and give our offense a boost.
                              This is going to be a tough 1st round. I'm not confident that the Nuggets can win which would seriously suck, given the great season they have had.....

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                              • Originally posted by darryn16 View Post

                                This is going to be a tough 1st round. I'm not confident that the Nuggets can win which would seriously suck, given the great season they have had.....
                                Portland is going to be tough given the current state of our team. We’re going to have to control the boards and Jokic will have to find his 3 point shot again, MPJ will likely have to up his game on both ends, and Aaron Gordon is going to have to find some way to make an impact. I’d probably put Gordon on McCollum because if he’s going the whole team is going, if he’s off we’re in better shape. Lillard can beat teams by himself but I’d rather force him to do that than let CJ get going and open up the offense for everyone else.

                                They’re a team built on guard play and our current situation has us relying heavily on our bigs. We can pull it out but it’ll likely be a long series for us to pull it out. Portland on the other hand could get hot and run us off the court and could win the series very quickly.

                                Hopefully the week off allows us to get Barton back because we’ll need his scoring punch as well as his length on the defensive end.

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