Mike Conley opens up about slowing down Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

Mike Conley chats with Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Mike Conley chats with Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The Denver Nuggets suffered their first loss of the 2023-24 NBA season on Tuesday night when they were on the wrong end of a 110-89 blowout against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Nuggets star and two-time MVP Nikola Jokic was a -19 on the night and had an underwhelming night by his standards. Jokic scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, but only managed to dish out three assists against the Wolves.

Minnesota guard Mike Conley spoke about how difficult it is to slow down Denver’s centerpiece and how he and his teammates were able to make it tough on the Nuggets.

“I’ve been a part of those [game] plans where you say let [Jokic] score, or let him be a facilitator and they both don’t work,” Conley said (h/t Chris Hine). “It’s really just compete and play hard. Try to make it a tough night on them. Everybody who was out there did a great job.”

Conley and the Timberwolves fell to the Nuggets in five games last spring in the opening round of the NBA playoffs.

Lack of efficiency hurts Denver Nuggets in loss to Timberwolves

Last season’s fifth-ranked offense just couldn’t get it going against Minnesota on Tuesday. The Nuggets looked lost, knocking down just 39.6% of their attempts from the field and 18.6% of those from beyond the arc.

Jokic and Jamal Murray were the only two Denver players to score more than 10 points in the rough loss.

This isn’t something that should set off sirens for Nuggets fans, though. With the bench largely being comprised of younger talent, there are inevitably going to be ups and downs throughout the course of the 82-game season.

It’s tough to imagine that Denver’s supporting cast lays many more eggs like they did against Minnesota.

The Nuggets will have a chance to bounce back on Friday night when they take on the undefeated Dallas Mavericks to kick off their In-Season Tournament group play.

Next. 14 Players that the Nuggets Gave Up on Too Soon. dark