Also, just wanna put this out there but Joker really is the Millenial Dirk to me now. With the way he elevates his game and force on the glass in the playoffs, plus how he steps his s*** up during elimination games. This man has really pushed the paradigm forward on how the future big man can be effective in the playoffs vs the full spread of coverage options.
Like Dirk showed with his shooting you need that to punish the classic deep drops and hard shows on PnR teams will throw at you. Jokic takes that to another level cuz on traps where Dirk might 1 dribble stop and pop for a middy, Jokic unlocks even higher EV shots with his playmaking vs the weakside defenders.
I really expect him to be an inspiration for all young Cs in the future, and for the longest time now I've thought that the true litmus test of a contender vs a pretender is whether the 5 man can either space the floor or defend pnr at an elite level. Because the playoffs are all about finding a weakness and chipping away at it. 1-5 pnr is still the sacred cow of bread and butter NBA plays because teams have learned to be comfortable switching every other action, but 1-5 pnr is the one play that can still get you a defense in rotation mode provided the opponent can't just play drop coverage and keep backside rotations to a minimum. This is where KP failed the Nuggets. He can eliminate drop coverages but he can't kill on switches so there's still a non-scramble inducing card that can be played on him.
If your big man is like Jokic and Dirk where they can easily make the switch non-viable but still reliably punish the other schemes in space you legit just have a pick your poison kind of play to go to every time and expect a fine shot because every other coverage now involves 3 people plugging up 2 and the backside defense will always have to scramble. There's only so much a defense can do if you can't plain handle a PNR 2v2. Plus Murray is a great rendition of the modern archetypal playmake and shoot off the dribble spread PnR guard that further eliminates drop coverage from the playbook so I gotta say man I am f***ing LOVING this nuggets team
. I'm fascinated by this matchup and wonder how much zone will be thrown in there by the Lakers.