Jimmy Butler praises Nikola Jokic’s defense

2023-06-04T10:27:10+00:00 2023-06-04T10:33:40+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

04/Jun/23 10:27


Jimmy Butler explained how Nikola Jokic influences the game also on the defensive end.

By Eurohoops team/ info@eurohoops.net

While Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic has been getting all sorts of compliments for his enormous offensive impact, he still has his critics when it comes to how he performs on defense.

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler has a different way of seeing things though.

When asked about Jokic’s defense, Butler went on to explain how Jokic also affects the game on that side of the floor by using his body and positioning in the right way.

“I think he does well for what he’s able to do,” Butler said ahead of Game 2 of the NBA Finals Sunday (4/6). “He moves his feet well. He’s constantly making guys make decisions whenever they get into the paint. Then his outlet passes from a defensive rebound are very, very elite; that, he’s been doing his entire career.”

“As much as everybody looks at what he does on the offensive side of the ball, he’s a hellified defender, as well,” Butler added.

In Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Jokic led the Nuggets to win by posting 27 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds in his first-ever appearance in a championship series.

He and Jamal Murray (26 points, 10 assists) created a fantastic combo that made short work of Heat‘s defenses.

“Tough. Tough,” Butler commented on the Jokic-Murray duo. “They do everything well. You’ve got to guard both of them, majority of the time with two people. We’ve got to figure that out because that’s coming at us every possession — if not every possession, damn sure every other possession.

Butler and his teammates will focus on trying to contain the Jokic’s and Murray’s actions to tie the series.

“We’ll key in on it,” Butler said. “We’ll lock on it. But it’s tough, no matter who it is, guarding those two guys, who are willing passers and can give you 50 on any given night. Then they have shooters everywhere on the floor. But you’re going to have to do hard things to get to where you want to get to.”