Deadliest couple: Murray and Jokic sink the Sixers

The Colorado duo led the victory against a Sixers who already have the same record as the Nets in the top of the East. Porter, guest of luxury.


Nuggets carburete. They were one of countless teams that started an atypical season on the left foot, but have crept into fifth place in the Western Conference ever closer to the four untouchables (namely Jazz, Suns, Clippers and Nuggets) and with foot and a half in a playoffs to which they will access except for a major catastrophe and a great streak of all those who come behind (a difficult combination). The Colorado franchise has three consecutive victories and, above all, 12 in the last 15 games. From a 17-14 record he has gone to a 29-18, loose and comfortable, with Jokic opposing an MVP who has many competitors, Jamal Murray improving and the team in tune with his coach, Mike Malone, a nice guy who They secured their place with last year's Conference Finals (4-1 loss to the Lakers) after coming back 3-1 in the first and second rounds, with the addition that, in the latter, they eliminated the Clippers so as unexpected as deserved. A series for the annals that turned the Nuggets into hopefuls for the closer future and Jokic and Murray into two stars to be reckoned with within the NBA tidal wave, always focused on new stories and stories and delighted to welcome the paraphernalia of the narrative to these two young people (Jokic is 26 years old and Murray 24) players.

Before the Sixers, Denver had a rival in low hours that is not able to be found. The loss of Joel Embiid weakened a squad that opposed the MVP with the pivot and the leadership of the East as a whole. Now, the most normal thing is that they are left without one thing or the other: the Cameroonian has no return date, and the team's record (32-15) is already identical to that of the almighty Nets, that squad full of names, some historical, established stars or heroes of the past, who has been the last super team that the NBA has seen in its long history and which threatens, not only to win the ring, but to do it in an unequivocal and overwhelming way. We'll see if that happens (talent wins, but there is still a lot to think about such hypotheses), but it seems that the leadership of the East, if it does not happen in the next round (it is normal, since they play against the Rockets), it will be a matter of time and it will take place sooner rather than later. Despite the absence of Embiid, the Sixers had four consecutive victories that gave them a break, but with their second loss in a row they are equaled by the Nets who simply do not lose against anyone. Again, the talent wins. Almost always.

Jamal Murray was the best of the game with 30 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and a wonderful shooting series: 12 of 24 in field goals and 5 of 11 in triples. The point guard has seen his hype diluted since the spectacular (historic) playoffs last year, but he averages the maximum of his career in points (21), percentage of field goals (48.1%), of triples (41.4% ) and assists (4.9). Next to nothing for an incredibly talented man who will explode, for the sake of the basketball fan, in the title playoffs. Against Philly, he was accompanied by the person he usually accompanies, a Jokic more restrained than usual and somewhat insecure with the ball in his hands (6 losses), but who went to 21 + 10 + 5 and averages 26 , 9, + 11.1 + 8.5, opposing an MVP of the season that would be historic by nationality (Dirk Nowitzki and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the only Europeans to have achieved it) and position (no center has achieved it since Shaquille O'Neal in 2000) .

The dynamic duo was accompanied by Michael Porter Jr, a born talent and a privileged physique who went to 27 + 12 + 4/11 of 16 in field goals and 5 of 7 in triples), but who gave the lead in the last fourth, when the Sixers were trying a desperate comeback, to the deadliest pair, which added 14 of the team's 16 points in the final 12 minutes. Campazzo, by the way, did not have his best performance: 0 points in 25 minutes (0 of 5 in field goals), and discreet in everything else, with just 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and a block, but 4 losses. of the ball and a -13 with him on the court. Bad game for the Argentine, who must improve to justify that Gary Harris and Hampton have been traded in his place, a move that ensures his position for the remainder of the season and should strengthen his confidence and allow him to continue his progression. He will have better games, that's for sure.

Y in the Sixers, little to scratch from. The disastrous opening period (44-22) sentenced the game ahead of time, and the locals only had to manage the advantage and avoid scares at the end. A clear symptom of Doc Rivers' team problems is that their top scorer was Tyrese Maxey ... with 13 points. Shake Milton scored 10, Dwight Howard another 10 (with 7 rebounds), Tobias Harris 12 and little else. No visiting player reached double digits in rebounds or assists, as a team they shot below 43% in field goals and with just 31% in triples, they lost 11 balls and a part of their match is difficult to analyze due to their prominence which was given to the alternates due to the result. The good thing about the Sixers, who were doing very well when Joel Embiid was injured, is that they have room to avoid major scares and can afford to lose some positions in the East while they wait for their fallen hero in the face of a playoffs in which, without public (or with a very small part of it), the field advantage will not become as important as in other years. Anyway, they can hold onto that. After all, he who does not console himself is because he does not want to.

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