THE LAST BIG MAN (NIKOLA JOKIC)
BEAST DOME NATION.
Basketball has changed so much in the last decade, maybe more than any sport. For the history of time, if you are 7 Feet tall and are a decent basketball player, you have a shot of making the NBA. That statement over the last decade-plus turned into a full-ride scholarship to play College Basketball, and that is likely it.
In the mid 2000s, D’Antoni and Steve Nash implemented a fast-paced offense with the Suns that saw so many points on the scoreboard, many teams tried to duplicate the success. As the game got faster, players like Shaquille O’Neal became less relevant. The big man was dying.
In about the 2015 range, Steph Curry changed the game for good launching deep 3s at will, and completely electrifying the crowd at the same time, as well as winning Championships. With the Steph Curry movement making so much noise, nearly all NBA teams changed how their offense worked. Going through the Center was no longer the gameplan. Unless of course you have the best of the best like an Embiid. Look how far that got the 76ers..
In the year 2020, D’Antoni is now changing the game again this time with Houston and his small-ball attack running the 6’5 PJ Tucker at Center. The Rockets have made enough noise in the bubble to disrupt the notion that teams actually need a legitimate center.
If you are 7 Feet Tall. Not only does that not help you make the NBA anymore, but getting a Free College Scholarship to play College Basketball may not be in the cards either. You actually need to have the skills everyone else has.
There are two 7 Foot Centers left in the NBA playoffs. Brook Lopez who completely converted his game to becoming a 3 Point Shooter, however this could be his last contract as his defense is horrendous. Brook moves so slowly that any talented big man can do whatever he wants.
The other center is Nikola Jokic. Jokic himself had to change his style and lost A TON of weight. He started to see that his big size and weight was hurting his team and making him a huge defensive liability. That is still the case as Jokic cannot guard the pick and roll well at all. With that being said, Jokic has a great matchup against the Clippers.
Zubac is the perfect center for Jokic to go up against. Zubac does not have speed, the only place Zubac is effective on the court is in the paint. With Jokic not having to kill himself with effort on defense, it saves effort for him on offense where he is the Nuggets one and only hope to advance in the playoffs. Also helps Zubac hardly gets off the floor and is a slow defender himself.
The Clippers have a ton of weapons on offense, way more than the Nuggets and that is what makes it so tough for the Nuggets to compete in this series. However with the series tied 1-1, Jokic finds himself in a prime position to gain the love again from the media with the Center Position. Sure Jokic is shooting more 3s than ever before, however he is orchestrating an offense like a Giant Point Guard, and he is controlling the game flow being the most dominating player on the court.
Still with all that being said. The Clippers have so much talent and so many weapons that can put the ball in the bucket. Even if the Nuggets play a great game, they need the Clippers to beat themselves. Jokic will give it his all and that will make him a Fantasy Superstar in this matchup. When the Clippers win, Kawhi Leonard is a Fantasy Superstar himself. Kawhi has some revenge to do after not scoring in the 4th Quarter of last game. That will not happen twice.
MKF predicts both players will perform undervalue when it comes to their Fantasy Points Prediction compared to their DFS Salary. Take the over on both.
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