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Is this the way to stop Nikola Jokic?

  • Published on Jan 28, 2023 veröffentlicht
  • Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers held MVP Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets to just 46 points in the 2nd half, thanks in large part to a halftime adjustment to the defensive scheme by coach Doc Rivers. This detailed film room analysis breaks down how P.J. Tucker and Embiid slowed down Jokic in their January 28, 2023 game in Philadelphia.
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    Ben Taylor is the author of Thinking Basketball, a Nylon Calculus contributor, creator of the Backpicks Top 40 series & host of the Thinking Basketball podcast.
    Stats courtesy:
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    Footage in this video is owned by the NBA and its partners. It is intended for critique and education.
    Music by csus (instrumental)
  • SportsSports

Comments • 1 216

  • Thinking Basketball
    Thinking Basketball  Month ago +29

    Here are those "roaming" schemes on More Thinking Basketball : Zion (clip-share.net/video/HubiIi3jVOg/video.html) and Davis (clip-share.net/video/BXAT09itZdQ/video.html)

    • Anthony Celestin
      Anthony Celestin Month ago

      Ben Taylor I don’t know if you know Darryl Morey. But if you meet Darryl Morey, tell Morey to either release Montrezz Harrell or trade Montrezz for draft picks to leave cap space to sign Lamarcus Aldridge.
      I am a 76ers fan and I feel all the 76ers needs is a backup C. Aldridge is the perfect fit that they need. Do everything in your power to let Darryl Morey know to sign Lamarcus Aldridge

  • deyan todorov
    deyan todorov Month ago +2259

    P.J. Tucker has been contributing on a top seed in either conference every season since 2018 and has been an amazing defender

    • LeLlamas
      LeLlamas Month ago

      @D H He had a numb hand at the moment. Can't feel - so it's understandable he's not shooting like he used to. Hopefully will get back to normal

    • Larry love
      Larry love Month ago

      @Nick Z no where not those are south jersey sixer fans not Philadelphia fans mainly I’m from the city I’m at the games it’s not the city fans we know what he’s here for and he’s doing what he’s supposed

    • Emanuel Bankhead
      Emanuel Bankhead Month ago

      Hell of a role player. I was sad bucks let him go

    • Jay Jay
      Jay Jay Month ago

      Only a good coach can utilize him well

    • Dermott Colee
      Dermott Colee Month ago

      @Khash Money 3pt,4rb in 27 mins a game isn't evened out by his intangibles. He's been disappointing as fuck

  • 6Man
    6Man Month ago +1095

    Jokic has historically had some trouble with smaller more physical defenders guarding him, the likes of Draymond, Grant Williams and PJ tucker. He figured out how to score against both Draymond and Grant after their first few matchups but the extra physicality that is allowed when a smaller defender is guarding him seems to throw him off. They're pretty much able to upend him and throw his balance off by using their hands a lot. Will be interesting to see how he adjusts in their next matchup, id expect more faceups and deeper post positions.

    • Dan Leavitt
      Dan Leavitt 24 days ago

      @Beede Bawng Jokic shot all around Howard. Howard had no hope.

    • Semi
      Semi Month ago

      @Terronn Smalls -- First, I am going to assume you know a little about basketball. Tucker became the primary defender and Embiid could play the role of a help defender if the primary defender got beat.
      It isn't a double team. A double team means the help defender actively left a designated area to specifically trap the man with the ball.
      Even if Jokic required a double team, there would be nothing wrong with that. Jokic is the two-time defending MVP. Why wouldn't he require a double team occasionally?
      That is just respect for his talent. BTW, Embiid has experienced the most double teams.
      They are both very good players. They have finished #1 and #2 in MVP in the last 2 years.
      Why are you trying to force me to speak negatively about one of them?

    • Terronn Smalls
      Terronn Smalls Month ago

      @Semi so your basically double teaming him lol

    • Terronn Smalls
      Terronn Smalls Month ago

      @Just Me embiid can't stop jokic

    • Terronn Smalls
      Terronn Smalls Month ago

      @Beede Bawng Dwight did nothing but hack him all game so does draymond

  • Njubek
    Njubek Month ago +1089

    Doc Rivers actually remembered he is coach?! That was great adjustment

    • No Unicorns
      No Unicorns Month ago

      @Georgios Yiannakou embiid gonna get injured again come playoff time. He had an injury every postseason except 2020. Last year he had something with his finger and of course that unnecessary broken orbital when he still played in garbage time against Toronto.

    • jojoprocess
      jojoprocess Month ago

      Wouldn't be surprised if an assistant coach told him to do this

    • jojoprocess
      jojoprocess Month ago

      @TJ he was still recovering from his hamstring

  • Wojciech Balcerzak
    Wojciech Balcerzak Month ago +724

    The 2-2 zone was really special, you can truly see the mind of a championship coach Glenn Rivers working full time on that play.

    • Star.Traffick
      Star.Traffick Month ago +1

      Doc is a regular season coach. All the tricks will be concentrated on by the opposition.

    • Ansh Kaushik
      Ansh Kaushik Month ago +1

      @Jonathan Gill 😂😂😂😂 my bad lmfao

    • Jonathan Gill
      Jonathan Gill Month ago +8

      @Ansh Kaushik You missed the joke. Harden's stealth move from the bench in the 2-2 zone is why the other guy is saying "hey he's actually good on defense"

    • louiS
      louiS Month ago +10

      ​@T that is doc rivers full name

    • Dnero518
      Dnero518 Month ago


  • Queen Seven-Bey
    Queen Seven-Bey Month ago +224

    I'm impressed by Doc with this game in particular. He actually made an adjustment during the game! He's got my boys rollin'!

    • Daddy Fuse
      Daddy Fuse Month ago +1

      Except against the Magic

    • Apples
      Apples Month ago +2

      A broken clock is right twice a day

  • Charles James
    Charles James Month ago +419

    The ball pressure PJ put on Jokic was great too so he couldn’t just walk into the elbow or make easy face up passes

    • AE
      AE 24 days ago

      @Domingo W. bc he has the highest IQ in the league. you come to him with pressure, hes gonna know where to go with the ball. PJ Tucker fouled Jokic all game. Embiid didnt even guard him.

    • AE
      AE 24 days ago

      jokic will never get calls bc of his size. this is a league wide issue. PJ tucker fouled Jokic all game.

    • bee14ish
      bee14ish Month ago

      @Tell Steve Harvey I dont want her What happens when defenses are allowed to get physical. NBA should encourage it more often.

    • Charles James
      Charles James Month ago

      @Atmospheric Atmosphere ain’t that big of a deal bro. No need for excuses, no one cares 👍🏾

    • Atmospheric Atmosphere
      Atmospheric Atmosphere Month ago +1

      It is just one game...on the road...came after 5 strait triple doubles...so you think you are onto something?

  • hexmark21
    hexmark21 Month ago +471

    Doc implementing in-game adjustments? Has he finally turned a corner?

    • Alt Delete
      Alt Delete Month ago +1

      @Steve Babiak lol, which coach is gonna take embiid James harden kawai Leonard or Paul George out of the game in the last 5 minutes?? Whichever coach does that we'd be even more critical of. Ur best players are gonna be there at the end and they're the ones that are going to decide how it goes. You can draw up the most beautiful play, if ur star player decides to ignore out and go iso or fumbles the ball away before u can run it, it doesn't matter. Then everyone says, "what dumb play by the coach" as if that's what he called during the time out

    • Steve Babiak
      Steve Babiak Month ago

      @Alt Delete - who decides which combo of players are on the floor together? That’s on the coach if he puts the wrong set of players out, or has them in the wrong D, or isn’t running plays that work.
      And the thing is, the talent can be good enough to build that huge lead, so they only have to play decently when up by a lot to get the W. But there are those games where that huge early lead transitions into a huge deficit at game end.

    • Alt Delete
      Alt Delete Month ago +1

      @Steve Babiak which is why I don't believe it was a Brett Brown problem. It's a roster problem. The players including in bead have problems finishing out games. If it was a coach issue it would have changed with a new coach. Everyone blamed doc for running too much iso with kawai and pg. If you watched last night's clippers game, they're still paying the exact same way when push cones to shove and it looks just as terrible. Players decide how is gonna be at the end of the day and some don't accept coaching. Others do but struggle to apply it. Sometimes you can apply coaching for 9/10 of the game, but in the last 5 minutes instincts takeover and the same bad habits players have rear their heads

    • Steve Babiak
      Steve Babiak Month ago

      @Alt Delete - regarding Brett Brown. He did a good job improving the players he was given when he had those weak rosters. And because he had weak rosters the in game expectations were low. But once he had a decent team, his in game management was exposed. On so many occasions his teams would get a huge lead (15 to 20 points) early in a game and then lose by a huge margin; losing a huge lead is a sign of poor in game management. And Glenn Rivers has a few losses like that too - including one last week to the Magic.

      MONSTER HOUSE DIGITAL Month ago +1

      Actually Embiid said that scheme was his idea

  • Jenkees7
    Jenkees7 Month ago +185

    06:12 - 06:34 That whole sequence just killed me. It's so fitting, that it's Harden who just sits on the bench as an active player, too.

    • DD
      DD Month ago +3

      @Thinking Basketball 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

    • Thinking Basketball
      Thinking Basketball  Month ago +78

      I kept cracking up trying to record the voice over.

    • Kevin De Vlieger
      Kevin De Vlieger Month ago +36

      The coach his reaction is also hilarious.
      *"4 players?.. wait a minute".. Looks at bench: "James, get your ass on the floor!!"*

    • Andrew
      Andrew Month ago +56

      Thybulle was supposed to check in but for some reason was just waiting at the scorers table

  • DontWorryIChanged MyName
    DontWorryIChanged MyName Month ago +268

    aaron gordon is putting up efficient numbers this season, 38.9% from three and still the 'weakest shooter', that surprises me alot

    • Nick Z
      Nick Z Month ago +1

      @Harry Garris we were talking about how Gordon could be considered the nuggets "weakest shooter" not anything else lmao. I was just telling the original commenter that although his percentages look good its on a low amount of 3s taken. which isnt that impressive.

    • IndianaSmallmouth
      IndianaSmallmouth Month ago +1

      @Jacob Bell Uh, he was a liability in this game.

    • Harry Garris
      Harry Garris Month ago

      @Nick Z It's impressive because his role isn't to spot up for 3s. His main thing is cutting to the rim, getting offensive rebounds, catching lobs, and playing awesome defense. On top of all that other great stuff on the rare occasion when he does spot up he makes his 3s as well.

    • Jerry Moody
      Jerry Moody Month ago +3

      @1mgreat1mgood 1. He is a neutral defender. 2. What does his defense has to do with him by numbers being the greatest offensive player in the history of the NBA

    • Jacob Bell
      Jacob Bell Month ago +5

      @1mgreat1mgood he's not a liability on defense, he's at least a neutral defender if not slightly positive. he's not the bad defender that he used to be

  • Dwayne Camacho
    Dwayne Camacho Month ago +31

    Good film analysis as usual - to me, Jokic also didn't do himself any favors against them in the 2nd half by being so passive; there were a number of possessions where it didn't look like he was trying to shoot, including some possessions where he tried to lob it to a wing or even a guard deep in the paint instead of just shooting the floater or 10-12 foot jumper, which is usually money for Jokic; I think more generally, when you got a smaller guy on you, you just can't be so passive like that, because passing out of a mismatch so much is playing right to their defense and the defense having more advantageous matchups against the other 4 players on the court

    • Michael Fong
      Michael Fong Month ago +1

      @Tre1000 What a smaller physical player does against all big men who want to dribble is take away their first step. Big guys dribble well against other big men. They don't dribble so well against someone who can steal the ball and beat them too the spot.

    • Tre1000
      Tre1000 Month ago +4

      Jokic has to shoot on pj. I kno u not supposed to shoot over smaller players but pj too strong and quick hands on perimeter. Jokic would tear him up in the paint but embiid as a help defender prevents that. Gotta shoot

    • James Cameron
      James Cameron Month ago +3

      He can't really do what he normally does because pj is still strong but pretty nimble too would steal the ball if jokic tried his usual moves

    • Rich at Large
      Rich at Large Month ago +2

      Very good point. He should have attacked and gone to the stripe for some FTs.

  • Cesar Fadul
    Cesar Fadul Month ago +45

    PJ Tucker has low key become the most important asset in the league. If you have PJ on your roster you're guaranteed a deep run in the playoffs. Crazy. The perfect team player. Dude just happy he can keep adding to his sneaker collection.

    • Terrence Smith
      Terrence Smith Month ago

      Your guaranteed to get out rebounded with PJ out there

    • 95Smokey
      95Smokey Month ago +2

      Iguodala is similar -- warriors got to the finals w him, then he went to the Heat and brought them to the finals, back to the warriors and another finals

    • KurtKobane
      KurtKobane Month ago +2

      I'd put Jae Crowder there along with PJ imo and I gotta believe Suns are asking for a stupid amount for a team to have not grabbed him already smh

  • Nandan Raghavan
    Nandan Raghavan Month ago +6

    Saw this tactic a lot last year watching the Wolves. Teams would defend KAT with a four, and have their 5 play zone on Vanderbilt, with an emphasis on rim protection. But it only works if guys don't make shots. Milwaukee used this against Boston in the playoffs, but Grant Williams made his shots and it cost them.

  • Tee
    Tee Month ago +3

    Always coming in with the highest quality breakdowns and analysis on Clip-Share. Many thanks!

  • Wladislav
    Wladislav Month ago

    I definitely noticed the defensive switch as well. And of course PJ Tucker can always be counted on to be a defensive nuisance.
    I'm curious to see how the Nuggets adapt if they meet again.

  • B_Lo95
    B_Lo95 Month ago +22

    As a 76ers fan the fact doc rivers has been making good decisions feels like I’m in the twilight zone hahaha

  • olly tropics
    olly tropics Month ago +37

    Also I think it'd be interesting to make a video dedicated to role players. Like he top 15 role players for championship teams to look to get. Examples in the league right now would be PJ Tucker, Tyus Jones, Kendrich Williams etc. Also since nba awards and what not have names it'd be cool to see you giveshout out to all time all nba role players like prime time Danny Green

  • max4296
    max4296 Month ago +53

    Glad the Nuggs got to experience playing against this sort of tactic in the 2nd half. Lots to learn from. Shouldn't be too tough to counter-strat putting a small on a 2x MVP center.

    • Ryan
      Ryan Month ago

      @Gg No Re lol. Those cheese steaks really make money for short bus manufacturers.

    • Yrn Quin
      Yrn Quin Month ago

      @Gg No Re He wasnt 3/11 stop the cap. Also, he had 30 11 4 vs the magic, that's not a bad game at all. You act like jokic wins every game lmao

    • Gg No Re
      Gg No Re Month ago

      @Yrn Quin 3/11 in the first half guarded by jokic. Embiid just had "one of those games" look how he did against the magic. Philly brain at it again.

    • Ryan
      Ryan Month ago

      @IndianaSmallmouth Rofl below by such a nonsignificant margin its embarrassing you mentioned it. Turnovers were an issue but not because of Embiid but Joel had a big game no doubt. They shot lights out from 3, their best player had a career game, they were at home and won by 7. Calling that cooked is just ridiculous to me.

  • Nolan Desmond
    Nolan Desmond Month ago +13

    I remember the Celtics having some success implementing this strategy against Denver in the past where Grant Williams would guard Jokic and Robert Williams or Al Horford would protect the paint to stop layups and lobs.

    • AE
      AE 24 days ago

      The reason it works is bc small players are allowed to foul bigs with no penalty.

    • Joshua Donald
      Joshua Donald Month ago +1

      @Peter Y Yea also last year in the playoffs the warriors did well having Draymond guard him.

    • Peter Y
      Peter Y Month ago +1

      Yes, I think a lot of teams have been picking up on this recently. MIN beat DEN and held Jokic in check earlier this season with Slo Mo as the primary defender and Gobert as the roamer. And Utah started guarding KAT the same way few years ago with Bogdanovic after KAT lit up Rudy for 7 threes.

  • kauslylive
    kauslylive Month ago +13

    I actually really like this type of content, It shows that Harden is still really good and a smart player, and that Embiid still has a lot of potential to show, It also shows how good P.G Tucker IS on defense

  • Dnero518
    Dnero518 Month ago +1

    More incredible content. As a lifelong nba fan I still learn so much from your channel. Thanks.

  • B M
    B M Month ago +25

    That 2 2 zone is deadly

  • master bop
    master bop Month ago +2

    Man this channel is a hidden gem. I love watching you break down these games and plays 😁

  • the boii
    the boii Month ago

    Do you guys have any episodes on ben Wallace?? Just curious your perspective on the player and/how he would fit today with his defensive versatility.

  • Jameson Evers
    Jameson Evers Month ago +10

    I think this is a really great adjustment, My first though is then how many teams in the west could emulate this in the playoffs? Maybe Memphis, having Jaren Jackson to ignore Gordon. I also think the logical adjustment would be either post Jokic in an empty side, or honestly have Jokic just play better in the second half(Yes I know great adjustment)

    • ZA
      ZA Month ago

      ​@KurtKobane That's a good point, McDaniels is one of the best rim-protecting wings in the league so I went with him but you're right that he probably doesnt have the bulk and strength to keep Jokic out of his spots for that rim protection to matter anyway

    • Ryan
      Ryan Month ago

      @KurtKobane is there a reason why you're cringe and hate lebron?

    • KurtKobane
      KurtKobane Month ago +1

      @Ryan ya that way Lebron can continue his normal role on defense by defending the guy that's sits in the corner 3 lmfao 🤣

    • KurtKobane
      KurtKobane Month ago

      @ZA ya agree with all that except where you believe McDaniels could hold up with Jokic but not Mikal Bridges lol McDaniels while might be a couple inches taller at 6'9" the Bridges at 6'6", McDaniels is over 20 lbs lighter then what Bridges weighs at 210 lbs and McDaniels is rail thin weighing 185 pounds lol Bridges also has a massive 7'2" wingspan atleast for his 6'6" height!

    • ZA
      ZA Month ago +1

      ​@KurtKobane I think the Bucks can do it too, Giannis currently plays as a roaming rim protector around Brook Lopez's paint protection and strength, having Giannis on Jokic might cancel out his effect as a roaming rim protector but he's strong and mobile enough to bother Jokic (with the height and length to not get shot over on top) while Brook's presence still protects the rim against Jokic finding easy passes to open cutters. Heat is a great call, Jimmy has the strength and Bam has the rim protection. Celtics too
      I dont think Wood/Powell has the rim protection or Mikal has the strength for it to work but I do think the Clippers can with Morris or Batum like you said or even with Kawhi in a pinch (which he did for the Raps in 2019, he is really strong and hard to move), Pels can with Herb or even Zion in a pinch if they need to and JV clogging the paint, Lakers can actually do it really well even with LeBron and AD playing those roles. Maybe Dillon Brooks and JJJ. The Warriors can manage with Draymond playing both roles because their guards can torch Jokic in space so much it wont even matter. Wolves could in theory with McDaniels and Gobert but I think it'd be cancelled out by KAT's man being able to blow by him on the perimeter too easily

  • Spencer vH
    Spencer vH Month ago +5

    great breakdown. one of the most frustrating things about this team is how they don't adjust against a good team, and this game was huge in showing how capable they are at doing this if they execute. tucker was HUGE tonight.

    • Tim Holland
      Tim Holland Month ago

      Embiid did amazing , tucker did pretty good. But the adjustment is what won them the game.

  • Mark Betonio
    Mark Betonio Month ago +3

    Love these X's & O's videos... these adjustments that change the game... great video...


    That was the best coaching I have seen doc do since he's been in Philly and now the world sees who the best big man in the NBA is

  • Adi Sucipto
    Adi Sucipto Month ago

    great video as usual. Not every team has a PJ Tucker. Nuggets also seem to diminish MPJ role by making him 'Keegan Murray' role player. on the next matchup i can be sure Nuggets will thomp Sixers

  • Marcellus Shelmon
    Marcellus Shelmon Month ago

    My new favorite channel. Such interesting and detailed breakdowns

  • acorn sucks
    acorn sucks Month ago +2

    Nice adjustment by Doc. Such moves happen all the time in a seven game series. Joker will have to post his smaller man on the block without the ball, or find a three point shooter that forces the center to come out.

    • Michael Fong
      Michael Fong Month ago

      The minute he goes to the block you double team him. Jokic is an okay post player but not an outstanding one. He plays like a PG so defensively you want to take away his first step which is what the sixers did.

  • TheTEN24
    TheTEN24 Month ago +27

    This was a great adjustment and you can tell it bothered Jokic.

    • AE
      AE 24 days ago

      he dropped 29 8 7. is that really "stopping" him?

    • Bruce Harding
      Bruce Harding Month ago +1

      @Tom Sugars come on dude they didn't stop jokic they did good job buy jokic just didn't shot and he only missed 4 shots when he did

    • Tom Sugars
      Tom Sugars Month ago

      everyone is going to try this now guy knows he is in for a hard time

  • Philosophy to the Future

    Nuggets looked human in the second half and this is perfectly explained. More teams will adjust in this way now. Malone should be able to come up with a nice scheme to handle this switch though. Jokic can shoot over the smaller defenders when he is told to be in a shoot-first mentality. And that is what he will have to do against the smaller defenders, as well as pass to the other 3pt shooters.

    • Sturm
      Sturm Month ago

      @Michael Fong That's what I said, somehow you're now also completely ignoring the point I made about him shooting mid range shots over dudes as tall as him

    • Michael Fong
      Michael Fong Month ago

      @Sturm He was passive because of the defensive scheme.

    • Sturm
      Sturm Month ago

      @Michael Fong Already explained it in my first comment, him being passive and not being a score-first mentality AND Tucker + Embiid patrolling the rim genuinely bothered him. When guys receive a pass from Jokic and have to meet Embiid at the rim, their offense is gonna sputter
      Jokic has a highlight reel of him shooting mid ranges over centers, not difficult to find. His past 2 mvp seasons should have plenty of that

    • Michael Fong
      Michael Fong Month ago

      @Sturm why did he have such an ineffective half if he could shoot over PJ?

    • Sturm
      Sturm Month ago

      @Michael Fong He dont need to elevate much, he’s 7 foot and shoots over guys closer to him in height than PJ Tucker all the time. Also he’s got the sombor shuffle that gives him space if he ever needs it

  • Sam Seidman
    Sam Seidman Month ago +1

    By golly, Doc and PJ coming through for the squad. Big ups to them.

  • Bluefurby
    Bluefurby Month ago +6

    This one is on Malone. He should already have an adjustment prepared for this type of strategy next time. Although PJ Tucker is one of the rare smaller players who can guard Jokic because of his strength so I wonder which other team can implement something like this.

    • AE
      AE 24 days ago

      @Antonio-974 Lebron isnt guarding Jokic dude. Lebron hasnt played defense in like 5 years

    • Michael Fong
      Michael Fong Month ago

      @Antonio-974 The thinking is to take away Jokic's first step. I have thought that this is the strategy against all big men who want to be guards. They dribble well against another big guy but they don't dribble so well against a strong smaller guy who can steal their dribble and beat the to the spot. With Giannis you should pick him up full court. Jokic only has an average post game and a double team will make his life difficult down low.

    • Alt Delete
      Alt Delete Month ago +1

      If you look, pj was letting jokic move him on several plays. As long as u got a giant in embiid waiting in the paint you don't really need mr olympia to guard jokic. The real issue is not everyone has had a giant in the paint. In fact most don't

    • Antonio-974
      Antonio-974 Month ago

      Lakers, LeBron or even Rui can guard Jokic and AD can roam in the paint, Bucks also with Giannis and Lopez (But Giannis isn’t as strong he has a high center of gravity and Jokic bullied him many times in the post so idont know), Celtics with Grant Williams and Robert Williams, Memphis with JJJ, Dillion Brooks and Adams, Nets with Ben Simmons and Claxton or the Wolves with KAT and Gobert.
      Basically any team with 1 strong wing or big and a great rim protector, even Zion and Valanciunas or Mobley and Allen could do it.

    • Zane Zhao-Murray
      Zane Zhao-Murray Month ago

      no worries, we know they in a lab working on adjustments

  • Eman. & .bitterpill
    Eman. & .bitterpill Month ago +1

    @ 6:15
    Ah yes, the 2-2 zone, VERY underrated defensive scheme. 👌👌

  • Bad Take Risan
    Bad Take Risan Month ago +1

    Doc making adjustments? I almost shed a tear 😭. My Sixers might win it all if Doc can actually remember how to coach.

  • antwan1357
    antwan1357 Month ago +3

    Gotta give props to tucker for his amazing defense against a much taller player.

  • Enzo Rocha
    Enzo Rocha Month ago

    Now this is what you call a proper breakdown. All those ESPN talking heads and other loudmouths on TV should hang their heads in shame for just stirring the pot and providing nothing else. All heat and no light. Superb analysis, TB, more power to ya! ;)

  • Gustavo Silva
    Gustavo Silva 25 days ago

    3:09 I actually felt he was going to slip, all that space and Jo position just begged to

  • Y2Jmarco1
    Y2Jmarco1 Month ago

    The counter move for Denver to this tactic is putting Gordon as a cutter (instead of keeping him in the angle shooting 3s) from the center of the court and the other wing/guard as a slasher under the basket near the center so Aaron can drive to the basket being contested by the opposing center standing to the rim while the slasher now has no man with him and there’s an extra pass for an easy lay-up/dunk for 2.

  • J H
    J H Month ago +2

    "why don't we switch one our strongest defensive players off the other teams weakest shooter."
    revolutionary, Doc.. truly.

  • Joseph Durgan
    Joseph Durgan Month ago +1

    This does make a good amount of sense in any year where he doesn't have any help. But wouldn't the quick and easy counter to this be to look for open threes?

  • R D
    R D Month ago +16

    No worries, Jokic will adapt, u can surprise him once, but not twice...U will see second matchup in Denver.
    For me here bigger problem was Jokic inactivity, just 11 shots, I hate when he do that.
    If he hit 31 shots like Embiid, it would be W.

    • Boris .Relota
      Boris .Relota Month ago +1

      Malone lost that game, he should do the same, put Gordon on Embid and let Jokic rest on def, like Embid did. This way Jokic had to play every posesion on attack and def and Embid could focus mostly on attack.

    • R D
      R D Month ago +2

      @Chriscus exactly

    • Chriscus
      Chriscus Month ago +5

      As a Sixers fan that was his biggest problem yesterday , there was multiple times that game he chose to dish it out when he really should’ve took it to the basket. He’s gotta be more aggressive, I’m not complaining but if you’re a Nuggets fan 1 made FG in the 4th quarter is unacceptable.

    • Aidan Salerno
      Aidan Salerno Month ago +2

      Unfortunately Jokic and Malone lost us that game, but we just have to get into a good rhythm and I have faith for the rest of the season and beyond

  • Hollens
    Hollens Month ago +1

    It was reminds me back in the 2021 season, when Bucks faced off with Brooklyn, PJ really put some efforts on guarding KD for scoring, make him so difficult to take the court. Sorry for my bad English

  • Drake Martes
    Drake Martes Month ago

    The 2-2 zone had me dying

  • jesustenes2
    jesustenes2 Month ago +1

    It seems like all you need is a good post defender and a good helping rim protector. Grizzlies and Warriors might have the right pieces.

  • ashamael
    ashamael Month ago

    You make me love basketball even more.

  • Dark Nate
    Dark Nate Month ago

    Great content..Nuggets blow this one IMO Sixers been good coming back in so many games I just don't think this is sustainable in the playoffs but let's see

    • Dark Nate
      Dark Nate Month ago

      @walrus bruh at this stage the fact he did anyway I'd a big win.. They gambled and it paid off

    • walrus
      walrus Month ago

      @Blox’s 73 points at half. Embiid with 2 early fouls too, which made the problem worse. Why wait until half to go to this look?
      Also - Harrell might be the worst defender in the league. Gotta give those minutes to Paul Reed.

    • Blox’s
      Blox’s Month ago +2

      @walrus how you going discredit Doc

    • walrus
      walrus Month ago

      Right. Doc should not get credit for this adjustment cause he waited forever to do it.

    • Fahmi Aulia Rachman
      Fahmi Aulia Rachman Month ago +2

      yeah i hope its just a bad game, cause they were better in the first half

  • Chris
    Chris Month ago +6

    Doc Rivers made a coaching adjustment for the first time in 15 years 😁

  • Vikram Krishnan
    Vikram Krishnan Month ago

    Doc Rivers actually came up with a great adjustment at the right time and now I don't know how to feel

  • Akiva Gelernter
    Akiva Gelernter Month ago +1

    This is a really good video. Well explained 👏

  • Temporality_
    Temporality_ Month ago

    Doc Rivers made an adjustment? This is incredible!

  • Nikola Krstić
    Nikola Krstić Month ago +31

    Jokic will adjust to this if it's a 7 game serious. I think Murray was the one who didn't do well here. He should have played PNR with Jokic and get whatever vs PJ. Or they could have played AG/Jokic PNR to negate this. They just all looked like they didn't know what to do.

    • Derek Sessions
      Derek Sessions Month ago

      @This is howe So are the Sixers. LOL. What you don't have are people that can take a man off the dribble. The best player you have that has great ball handling and get his own shot off the dribble is Bones Hyland...from off the bench. Other than that, You have to take higher percentage shots. Who is your ISO player if you need to go to that set? Denver relies on great schemes, plays and precision passing not high flying dunks and slashes to the rim. You watch the Nuggets. Stop acting like they are an athletic team. They are not. No one on that team is jumping over anyone. They are great shooters that have a really good offensive scheme. No one says you can't win that way but don't be delusional like you have THOSE type of player. Simply put, you have one All Star on your team and he might be your least athletic player.

    • Derek Sessions
      Derek Sessions Month ago

      @Nikola Krstić Other teams don't have Joel Embiid. It's like the idiots who keep hiring Peyton Manning's or Tom Brady's offensive coordinator. Unless you have Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, it's not going to be successful. Plus, There is no center that makes Jokic work like Embiid.

    • This is howe
      This is howe Month ago +1

      @Derek Sessions lol what they are the best shooting team in the league lmao? And you are nuts if you think Murray and Gordon aren’t athletic like wtf are you watching

    • Derek Sessions
      Derek Sessions Month ago

      @This is howe It's not about Jokic picking apart a scheme...it's about your shooter having to make shots because you don't elite ball handling, speed or athleticism on the team. Debate that!!! Jokic, AG, MPJ, JM to name a few are really good players but no one...I MEAN NO ONE thinks they are athletic.

    • Nikola Krstić
      Nikola Krstić Month ago

      @Jamal Walker sure Horford is old for Jokic but guards Giannis the best in the league probably lmao
      Can you refresh my memory when did the suns do this and it worked? What are you even talking about

  • Arran McEvoy
    Arran McEvoy Month ago +1

    4:40 they are def gonna add a Jokic rule, no doubt in my mind this is inspired by what that boy on the Celtics was doing with the vision block, put your foot out to give the illusion of blocking the bounce pass when in reality it would be a kickball. Are kickballs bad or good? Do you get a foul if you kick the ball intentionally? lil rusty on those ones.

  • Cory Willis
    Cory Willis Month ago +6

    Do you think the Grizzlies could do this with dillon brooks and jaren as the roamer or is it just better to have the bruiser in Steven adams on him and give up some of the quickness and rely on jarens help

    • Trill Bill
      Trill Bill Month ago

      @Cory Willis This is true.

    • Cory Willis
      Cory Willis Month ago +1

      @Trill Bill I don't think that's how the majority of games go. I agree that they can become hyper dependent of Ja's excellence in the clutch and that could easily bite them in the playoffs, but I believe their priorities are right in giving the ball to the best player on the floor most nights and letting him create shots for himself and others. I think that's a safe bet when you have arguably the quickest guy in the NBA who is as dynamic of a playmaker as he is.

    • Trill Bill
      Trill Bill Month ago

      @Cory Willis Well, regarding the half court offense. Outside of the 3-point slump, they all seem to ball watch Ja whenever he drives to the hoop. They can't keep relying on his layups and Bane's 3 point shots. The team needs more on and off the ball movements. Their current sets are too predictable and unstable.

    • Cory Willis
      Cory Willis Month ago +1

      @Trill Bill His rotations have been inconsistent because the team has been riddled with injuries throughout the year. I think he has been great this year with what he has had to work with but the halfcourt offense is more of a lack of shooting than bad offensive sets.

    • Trill Bill
      Trill Bill Month ago

      @Meek Mill I never called him a "fraud". I said he's been looking like one as of late. His rotations been questionable and his half court offense schemes are mundane. Yes or no?

  • Justin Hoskins
    Justin Hoskins Month ago

    I think this is a pretty simple yet perfect example of a better team player vs a better individual player.

  • Ty Wong
    Ty Wong Month ago

    I wonder if this scheme will work on the sixers, with AG guarding Embiid n Jokic roaming off PJ Tucker

  • Adrian Cerrato
    Adrian Cerrato Month ago

    I have a question: can you carry a player in the nba (it's an easier shot for the player who is held)

  • Đorđe Madžarević
    Đorđe Madžarević Month ago +1

    "After a battle, everyone is a general". It is easy after a game, with all the time in the world, to make such analysis. During a game, things are happening in a matter of split seconds, and one must react in instinct. But, to be serious, this game is proof how big Jokić become when 24-8-9 (in first game after injury) is considered as bad 🙂. For the huge majority of players, this would be a dream stats.

  • doktarr
    doktarr Month ago

    Fun fact: this video contains 75% of Jokic's missed shots on the evening

  • jason billy
    jason billy Month ago +4

    All you have to do is keep attacking him on offense just stay consistent and don't let up he really doesn't like playing defense other than the occasional steal it's not really a part of his game

    • Joshua Donald
      Joshua Donald Month ago

      Exactly you have to constantly attack a guy like Jokic a lot of Den games I watch I’m actually surprised by how little teams seem to attack him.

  • mick romney
    mick romney Month ago +1

    Jokic was definitely passive towards the end, should’ve gotten more of Jamal’s shots.

  • Lynsmanz
    Lynsmanz Month ago +1

    I recall hearing a stat that said something like 60% of Jokic's assists are layups. So if you clog up the paint you force the nuggets to play outside even if it means jokic might have an easier time scoring.

    • Michael Fong
      Michael Fong Month ago +1

      What you really want to do is stop his penetration. and you do that by putting a strong quick guy on him at the perimeter. The defender can steal Jokic's dribble and beat him to the spot. Jokic doesn't have enough ups to do a pull up jumper on a player like PJ.

  • blackezi3
    blackezi3 Month ago +2

    This is what Ime Udoka did last season
    The Celtics need him back

  • nellyville
    nellyville Month ago +1

    Pj Tucker is a hardworking physical tough player his production is valuable 💯

  • Mitchell Productions

    hell of a game by embiid, hell of a 2nd half plan from doc. we will see you in denver in march and then maybe june??

  • Damien Branche
    Damien Branche Month ago +7

    Embiid was unreal on this game. Probably my fav game of the season so far

  • Kennn
    Kennn Month ago

    This is why I was confused why the Bucks let Tucker walk, he really enhanced their defensive options. With Tucker you can put him on 1-5 and have Giannis AND Lopez as the rooming rim protectors. It does still work to have Lopez on Jokic and Giannis as the helper, but it could've been a dominant one-two punch. Plus they were a very switchable 1-4, Jrue can be a strong enough to hold his own on forwards and Giannis being quick enough to distrupt guards.

  • Josiah Ross
    Josiah Ross Month ago

    Would love to see a lineup with Porter at the 4 to counteract this but I think their defense would suffer

  • Charles Baker
    Charles Baker Month ago

    As a Suns fan, I've been a big fan of Mikal Bridges since his rookie year. But there was a period last year, I started to think that his skills (as a scorer / playmaker) were not ever going to improve. But this season (last night against the Raptors specifically) - he has shown major growth and comfort with having the ball in his hands. I notice he's gotten better at keeping a low dribble - keeping control and balance - as he searches for plays. At the same time his mid range has improved (it's a reliable weapon every night) - and his vision - passing lanes - hitting teammates - it's all improving. It feels like this time without Booker has been a major help to his development. I'm curious about any other thoughts on Bridges' continued development, his ceiling, etc.

  • starfish klay
    starfish klay Month ago

    The 2-2 zone is literally the greatest thing Doc Rivers has done as a coach.

  • Jordan W
    Jordan W Month ago

    great analysis...spot on. fun watch too. thanks for posting

  • WunderKid
    WunderKid Month ago +3

    I think jokic has some difficulties when he is guard by a guard. Someone with active hands who will force him to put the ball on the floor. Jokic loves to pass the ball so his teammates runs all over the place and with his vision, find the open man. Pj did a great job yesterday.

  • Dream Creation Media
    Dream Creation Media Month ago +1

    This was very informative. I am a nuggets fan and was very frustrated with this game.

  • Josh D
    Josh D Month ago

    I would love to see matchup in the playoffs to see how the nuggets answer back to these weakness

  • Fab My Ride
    Fab My Ride Month ago

    Such an excellent analysis. You might be a coach somewhere .

  • James Francois
    James Francois Month ago +2

    PJ Tucker is a beast defender, so underrated and unappreciated...

  • Basketball Society
    Basketball Society Month ago

    Strength and physicality are absolutely needed to have a shot defending Jokic individually. Tucker is actually perfect because even though he gives up size he's super physical and quicker than Jokic who deceives slower guys a lot with his first step

  • Bato Popadić
    Bato Popadić Month ago +20

    Can't wait for them coming to Denver 😄

    • Only Facts
      Only Facts Month ago

      @Risotto Nero NBA made JOKIC played against BUCKS and SIXER twice in the same season back to back games.

    • Only Facts
      Only Facts Month ago

      DENVER will play BUCKS and SIXERS back to back..NBA makes this on purpose...

    • Thelight354
      Thelight354 Month ago +1

      @R DI think they lose to a healthy clippers and whoever comes out the east. But they are definitely in the mix.

    • Only Facts
      Only Facts Month ago +1

      @D H EMBIID is the one who admits he played to win the scoring tittle..🤣🤣

    • Only Facts
      Only Facts Month ago +1

      @D H THE OVERRATED player is going to be player of the month with 25 PPG / 11 REB / 11 ASS...shooting over 60%FG...

  • Dawsnoshift
    Dawsnoshift Month ago +1

    Gotta give doc his props man

  • Brian Williams
    Brian Williams Month ago

    Good adjustments by doc (surprisingly) but man Malone had no counter punch

  • Antonio Baca
    Antonio Baca Month ago

    Nuggets looked like they were playing lazy in the second half. Gordon was just standing around letting Embid just sit in the paint. The Nuggets looked like a team that hasn't played together for awhile!

  • Ben Jackson
    Ben Jackson Month ago

    Would this be a strategy that could be employed against giannis?

  • andres delbusto
    andres delbusto Month ago +1

    Maybe the T-Wolves could do something similar with Gobert and KAT buuuut they need to figure out their offense or it won't work. That speaks volumes of PJ defensively and the team as a whole

  • Nikola Krstić
    Nikola Krstić Month ago +19

    This is not the first time teams did this vs Jokic. Jazz, Portland etc did this and it didn't work that well. This game the Nuggets were just not that good. Also imagine being outcoached by DOC RIVERS

    • Akil Jean-Pierre
      Akil Jean-Pierre Month ago

      @Blox’s I didn’t have any excuses at all

    • Blox’s
      Blox’s Month ago +1

      @Akil Jean-Pierre too many excuses

    • Akil Jean-Pierre
      Akil Jean-Pierre Month ago +1

      @1mgreat1mgood in the first half not really they showed on espn Embiid was 3-11 when guarded by Jokic but the second half he for sure caught fire on him but a lot of that was aided in Embiid not having to guard Jokic. Sixers were home too had like 4 days rest from their last home game against the Nets on a streak feeling good so I wasn’t too surprised we’ll see if Embiid plays in Denver I guarantee you Embiid won’t be able to hide next time

    • 1mgreat1mgood
      1mgreat1mgood Month ago +1

      @Akil Jean-Pierre what??? Embid cooked him the entire game lol

    • Nikola Krstić
      Nikola Krstić Month ago +1

      @Akil Jean-Pierre he doesn't have to pass, he just needs to make the offense work. looks like you don't get it

  • Bembeyaz
    Bembeyaz Month ago

    I think that having a big man as a facilitator is an issue when you have a defender like Tucker on them. This was also evident in the Jokic/Green match-up in the last post season for the Nuggets.
    One of the reasons for this is that they are not usually defended like they are point guards, and they fall short when their ball handling is tested. Their usual defenders are not accustomed to defending a facilitator. (Look at Jarrett Allen defending Jokic in their last game.)
    Draymond Green himself is in a similar position as Jokic. I remember Tatum defending Green hard on the perimeter in the finals and Green could not find an easy answer.
    I am very curious what Malone will do about this in the play-offs if/when teams apply the same tactic against them.
    I would love to hear you talk about what this means for the future of big man in the NBA.
    Thank you for the video.

  • Christian Bernardo
    Christian Bernardo Month ago +2

    LMAO Harden coming out the bench had my dying, best defensive play he made 😂😂

  • RolfTheWalker
    RolfTheWalker Month ago +1

    Can we get a heck ya for Doc actually making an adjustment 😆.

  • William Hooke
    William Hooke Month ago

    3:37 Jokic needed to take another dribble at least in that situation 🔍

  • NBA bball Serbia
    NBA bball Serbia Month ago +1

    Jokic is going to figure it out. He always need few looks to see and he is going to figure it out for sure because it's not the first time we seen Jok struggle with the new looks thrown on him and the team would play differently for sure, they surprised them but I can bet that won't happen again.
    I remember when Gobert was a problem for Jok, after Jok was tearing Gobert, then I remember when AD was a problem for Jok, not anymore. Then I remember when Montrezi was problem, solved again. So I know that this happened once and not anymore for sure.

    • Michael Fong
      Michael Fong Month ago

      I would like to point out that all the people you mention are big men. What a smaller player does is take away Jokic's first step. Big men can dribble against other big men but they can't dribble against smaller men. Smaller men crowd the big men and can steal the ball and also beat them to the spot. Jokic has no ups so he can't do a pull up jumper. I have been saying this for a long time . Big men really can't dribble all that well.

  • Azalea Hathaway
    Azalea Hathaway Month ago +61

    Embiid is so underappreciated in the league. Should have been a starter over Durant.

    • devonte figures
      devonte figures Month ago

      @Sam Seidman Ben clogging the paints? Stop

    • 1mgreat1mgood
      1mgreat1mgood Month ago

      @The Truth wow 😯 he better than all 3

    • Sam Seidman
      Sam Seidman Month ago

      @devonte figures How in hells name was the Hawks series his fault? He's got Ben clogging the paint for the third straight year and Glenn Rivers who's made even Kawhi a choke artist as well as every other player he's ever coached, meanwhile Embiid is still dropping his 30 a game with 11 boards and elite rim protection and you're gonna tell me the Hawks series was his fault? And that he blamed Simmons? Simmons is a con man. He's not deserving of any slack from teammates with the crap he pulls. Tell me you didn't watch that series without telling me you didn't watch it.

    • devonte figures
      devonte figures Month ago +1

      @Sway Yvens embid chokes in the playoffs tho the hawks series is his fault and he blamed Simmons and the raptors series was his fault he got in Simmons way and didn’t jump on the shot

    • devonte figures
      devonte figures Month ago +1

      @Sway Yvens I love embid I think he better than Jokic but we not doing embid over KD at all

  • Hollins
    Hollins Month ago

    Everybody talks about LeBrons's longevity but PJs is also extraordinary.

  • philly_sports
    philly_sports Month ago

    It’s nice to see Doc Rivers actually coaching instead of his normal brand of “go out there and get some buckets figure it out for yourselves”

  • Golden Okoko
    Golden Okoko Month ago

    Joel is a underrated defender

  • Ross conklin
    Ross conklin Month ago

    This reminds me of the Celtics' Grant Williams strategy vs Jokic which resulted in Grant nicknaming himself "Batman."
    During the New Years Day matchup between the Celtics and Nuggets I was screaming at my TV as the Celtics started a super small Smart/ White/ Brown/ Tatum/ Horford starting lineup against Denver's jumbo Brown/ KCP/ Porter Jr/ Gordon/ Jokic lineup. Then they subbed in ... Brogdon? I thought it was the dumbest mistake I've seen the Celtics' staff make all season. They basically invented the strategy in this video, and have owned the Nuggets for a few years. Then they decided to do the opposite? Mystifying.

  • David grund
    David grund Month ago

    Definitely not to a great extent of this but in the west the twolves could have a similar effect. With KAT and rudy. Obviously Kat isn't that good at defence, but they can have the big man on him with the other roaming the paint effect like in this game.

  • spagettifork
    spagettifork Month ago +33

    PJ is such an underrated defender bro

    • Fate Riddle
      Fate Riddle Month ago

      @Darren Gordon-Hill I'm so fed up with those cheap responses under the video with zero knowledge of the subject or effort, just to fish for some likes.

    • D H
      D H Month ago

      And Jokic is so overrated

    • William Daryl Nebie
      William Daryl Nebie Month ago

      Only casuals don’t know about Tucker and his defense. He’s a big reason why the Rockets were able to go crazy with small-ball lineups

    • Darren Gordon-Hill
      Darren Gordon-Hill Month ago

      @Fate Riddle
      "Rodman is underrated as a rebounder"

    • Darren Gordon-Hill
      Darren Gordon-Hill Month ago

      He's ONLY RATED as a defender

  • JP3 1921
    JP3 1921 Month ago

    Jokic figures anyone out. They did a great job 1 game. 🎉

  • CFB Addict
    CFB Addict Month ago

    Ah yes the good ole 2-2-Bench Zone. I won a state championship playing that in HS.