The return of the best Jokic is of no use to the green storm

The Celtics remain undefeated on their court with the Tatum-Brown couple at full capacity and make the game before the Nuggets a formality.


There are three courts in the NBA that have not yet been assaulted by any visiting team: Miami, Philadelphia and Boston. On the night of Thursday the Sixers will try to test them again, but as they are playing the Celtics at home it seems difficult to break the streak. Today came the Nuggets, seconds from the West (no longer), and the game has seemed anything but a confrontation between two candidates to fight to get into the NBA final. The locals have done what they wanted with their rival, except for Nikola Jokic, they have not shown anything that had brought them to Massachusetts with a record of 14-5.

It is curious about Jokic and the rest of his teammates, because the Nuggets were just winning games without major performances by their star but with other players covering him. Today has been just the opposite. The Serbian has been at the level expected of him, but no one has accompanied him. The pivot had six games without reaching twenty points and in all but one pulling below 50%. In two of the last three even below 40%. Tonight he has done it at 61.9% (13/21) for 30 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists. A perfect statistic for the Nuggets to win matches. But if his next best player, Jamal Murray, makes only 10 points and from then on no one else achieves the score in scoring to take the victory becomes an impossible mission.

If you also have a team like the Celtics in front of you, who every time seem to play better as a team, the die was cast. The couple formed by Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown is remembering that of the 2018 playoffs, but with one more year of experience, with all that that entails at these ages. Tatum was this time the best (26 + 7 + 5). He played what he wanted, setting the pace of his team and starring in some spectacular plays, including two triples with Juancho's hand in front. The Spaniard, who took great pains to defend him when he was on the court, could not do much with his peer in one of those days in which a player has everything. By the way, the Spaniard was the substitute for the Nuggets who played the most minutes (20) and seems fully settled again in the rotation of his team.

Tatum's performance joined that of his partner Brown (21 + 7). Between them two and a little bit of Kemba (19) did not need much more in attack. For the rest they pulled defense and the disastrous day of their rivals, who took Jokic away 35.6% in field shots. The Celtics are still sent in that group pursuing Bucks that, so far, are unattainable.

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