Charles Barkley makes a damning statement about Nikola Jokic and the responsibility he carries for the Nuggets against the Phoenix Suns.
When the matchup between Nikola Jokic’s Denver Nuggets and Chris Paul’s Phoenix Suns, the NBA community was more than just ecstatic. Both teams had looked really impressive during their respective first rounds, making fans believe that this could have the potential to be a 7 game series.
Fast forward to the end of game-1 though, and many of those hopes were dashed already. The Suns kept it close in the first half, before completely dominating in the second. Eventually they ended the game with a 122-105 victory over their opponents.
Since that game, many have been in doubt over the team’s chances to make the Conference finals. Some have even lost hope completely, after just one game in this series.
Charles Barkley on the other hand though still believes in this team. And on the most recent episode of ‘Inside the NBA’, he announces to the world what needs to be done for the Nuggets to come away victorious.
Charles Barkley clears up what Nikola Jokic has to do for the Denver to make the Conference Finals
In game-1, the Joker had 22 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists, while shooting 10-23 from the field, and 2 of 5 from three. While these numbers aren’t abysmal, they also aren’t fitting of a leader.
There is a reason behind why Nikola Jokic couldn’t dominate during this game, and it is 6’11” sized one.
Yes, Deandre Ayton, who has shined during the postseason, simply overpowered the MVP, during this game. His decision-making on defense forced Jokic to be incredibly passive, while he got 20 points on the other end of the floor.
Reacting to this, Charles Barkley had something to say about Nikola Jokic in this battle of the big men. And arguably the greatest one of all time in Shaquille O’Neal couldn’t help but agree with him. Take a listen.
“If Joker don’t dominate Ayton, Denver’s not gonna win this series, plain and simple.”
Chuck breaks down the importance of Jokic against Phoenix. pic.twitter.com/tdY37YYFad
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) June 9, 2021
Like Shaq, we completely agree with Chuck here. Without Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic has to be the one the offense runs through. But, if he can’t dominate his matchup, while Booker and CP3 get their’s on the other end, it becomes close to impossible for the Nuggets to win this series. And we’re sure Jokic knows this.
Now, its all on the MVP. Will he enter game-2 with a thirst for revenge? Or, will he let himself be dominated and watch his team lose?