Despite Nikola Jokic’s Elite Performances, 9x NBA Champion Labels Another Nuggets Star as the “Head of the Snake”

Published 06/05/2023, 1:59 PM EDT

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Throughout this postseason, the Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic has rendered his opponents speechless with consistent triple-double performances. Those iconic displays earned Jokic the much-coveted Western Conference Finals MVP award. In the first game of the Finals, Jokic’s show was at the heart of Denver’s win. Though the Heat has now leveled the series with the Game 2 win, Jokic put out a 41-point show. To a 9x-NBA champion, however, Nikola Jokic is not the centerpiece in the Nuggets’ roster.

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For many Denver fans, Nikola Jokic is a messiah. However, an NBA veteran begs to differ. For him, Nikola Jokic is not the “head of the snake.” Rather, he labeled another key Denver player with the iconic title.

NBA veteran chooses teammate over Nikola Jokic as the Nuggets’ centerpiece

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The Chicago Bulls legend turned Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and GSW ace Draymond Green have recently had a conversation on the Green’s podcast. As the NBA Finals are the talk of the town, the legendary coach, and the player quickly dived deeper into the ongoing Denver-Miami clash. Being an iconic coach himself, Kerr quickly gave his interpretation of Miami’s game plan.

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“I can see them in their coach’s meetings saying [Jamal]Murray is the head of the snake, not Jokic. If you look at Jokic is the head of the snake. But when you play on TV, you realize, wait a second, that guy is gonna, he[Jokic] is gonna dominate no matter what. So we got this is the head of the snake. I think they just decided Murray is the guy we got to stop. So you start Love, put Jimmy Butler on Murray,” Kerr said.

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Steve Kerr then remarked that Miami Heat‘s defensive adjustments around Jamal Murray are similar to the defensive strategies LA employed against the GSW in Semi-Finals.

Steve Kerr says Miami used LA’s defensive strategy against the ‘head of the snake’

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Steve Kerr quickly recalled his team’s matchup against the Lakers in the Semi-Finals. For the GSW, Stephen Curry poses a threat to the opponents like no other player. Apparently, the Lakers gave Dennis Schroder the task to guard Stephen Curry throughout the games. Similarly, the Heat employed Jimmy Butler to make sure that Jamal Murray’s threats are contained. As Kerr puts it, Butler goes to the bench whenever Murray goes to the bench. When Murray partakes in the action, Butler will leave the bench to guard him.

Now that the Heat has successfully employed a defensive change, they will look forward to playing a similar game in the upcoming matchups. Besides, Heat’s changes have restated how crucial Jamal Murray has been for Denver throughout this playoff run. Jamal Murray will now have to work a plan to break the Miami deadlock in the final few games.

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WATCH THIS STORY:  As Jimmy Butler and Co Embark on Massive Feat Latest Heat Update May Worry Nikola Jokics Nuggets

 

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Written by:

Krishna Prasad M

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Krishna Prasad is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He holds professional qualifications in English and Journalism from reputed institutions. As a trained reporter, Krishna's intense passion for sports writing prompted him to become an NBA journalist.
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Edited by:

Jayant Chhabra

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