Ohm YoungmisukESPN staff writerMay 18, 2023, 09:23 amRead 4 minutes

Denver – As Nuggets They watched film of their Game 1 win. Los Angeles LakersThey saw what they had seen before.

If the Lakers believe they can find a defensive wrinkle in putting Rui Hachimura on Nikola Jokic Just like they did in the fourth quarter of Game 1, the Nuggets say they know exactly how to tackle the tactic, as they saw in the first round of the game recently. Minnesota Timberwolves.

“a lot [is being] Denver head coach Michael Malone said after the team’s film session Wednesday that they’re done putting Rui Hachimura over Nikola Jokic.

Jokic’s third straight three-pointer after the contest gave the Nuggets a 1-0 lead. Jokic hit 12 of his first 15 shots and had 31 points, 19 rebounds and 12 assists late in the third quarter.

But after the Lakers put the 6-foot-8 Hachimura on Jokic, allowing Anthony Davis To get the paint rolling, Jokic was limited to three points on 0-2 shooting in the fourth quarter while committing two turnovers with two rebounds and two rebounds.

That, along with scoring 72 second-half points, allowed the Lakers to cut a 21-point deficit to three late in the fourth. So even though the Nuggets made the winning plays to take Game 1, it felt like the Lakers came out of the game with some momentum and perhaps an effective defensive strategy against Jokic.

“It depends on that kind of conversation. [that] “Even if the Lakers lose, they’re coming out of this, they think they have something,” Malone said.

“So it’s a great situation for us to be able to watch a film after the victory and show all the things we did poorly.”

The Nuggets say they are ready to challenge the Lakers if they decide to put Hachimura back over Jokic to allow Davis to move.

Similar methods from Golden State Warriorswho used it Draymond Green As a free safety from Jokic in the first round last year; from Philadelphia 76erswho put PJ Tucker Sometimes on Jokic to release Joel Embiid; And from Minnesota, he tried to allow Rudy Gobert. In the first round last month, float in color.

“We’ve seen everything as a team to see how teams try to protect Nicolas,” the Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. he said. “We may have surprised a little bit late in the second half, but looking at the film, I don’t think that’s going to be an issue for us. The next thing is when they take out AD, we know how to counter that. Ball and AD are wandering around a little bit, it opens up some things in the back end, so we have to execute now.

One potential counter for the Nuggets could be spreading things out with shooters and moving. Aaron Gordon Around. According to a study by ESPN Stats and Information, the Nuggets have run ball screens with Gordon in the dunker position 86 times this season. The Nuggets averaged 1.30 points per straight pick, well above the postseason league average of 1.01. Jokic scored eight points off four ball screens with Davis competing with Gordon at the dunker spot.

However, the Nuggets didn’t score a point in Game 1 on five plays with Gordon in the dunker position and Jokic defended by Davis’ roaming small man.

Davis said he’ll have to be ready for the challenge of guarding Jokic or moving on defense but sticking with Gordon.

“That’s why they pay me big money,” Davis said. “I have to know. And I have to help everybody. It’s my job on this team, to help defend everybody, to protect guys.”

They should try to open it for the senders D’Angelo RussellHe scored just 8 points and didn’t play in the fourth quarter.

Guardian of the nugget Bruce Brown He said one of the team’s goals is to “get tough” on Russell on the defensive end and “just go at him.”

“We attacked them, we took D-Law out of the game. That was our goal to get him involved in everything,” Brown said of Denver’s early transition game.

“He’s not the best defender, but he’s definitely going to try. So just try to attack his feet,” Brown added.

More than anything, the Nuggets are rooting for a better start against the Lakers in Game 2 after falling behind 30-14 in the first eight-plus minutes on Tuesday night.

“We gave them confidence and let them get back into the game,” Brown said. “So we have to go out and punch them in the mouth first.”

ESPN’s Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.

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