On Friday night, the Denver Nuggets will take on the Dallas Mavericks in the franchise’s first-ever NBA In-Season Tournament game. Nuggets center Nikola Jokic will be a handful for the Mavericks to handle on defense, especially with rookie big man Dereck Lively tasked with the job of slowing down the two-time MVP.
Former Mavericks center, and 2012 Defensive Player of the Year, Tyson Chandler, discussed the challenge awaiting the rookie with Andscape’s Marc J. Spears.
“The Joker has got everything you need,” Chandler told Spears. “With him you got to be locked in and feel the game. What I mean by that is understand Denver’s offense, cutters, go-to moves, picks-and-rolls with Jamal Murray. The special thing about Joker is he’s not the norm. He will not force his will. He is going to make the right basketball play like LeBron James.”
Jokic has been an absolute monster so far this season. Through five games, he’s averaged 26.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game while knocking down 60.4% of his attempts from the field and 35.0% from long range.
Denver Nuggets to debut new court, jerseys against Mavericks
Along with the inaugural In-Season Tournament comes a surplus of NBA marketing. In order to make the competition stand out, the league assigned alternate court designs to all 30 teams, including the Nuggets.
Denver’s floor will feature a blue paint job with a gold stripe running down the middle from baseline to baseline. At center court, there will be a painting of the NBA Cup overlapped by the Nuggets’ 5,280 logo.
The Nuggets will also be debuting their all-new “City Edition Uniforms.” Denver’s players will wear black jerseys with a blue outline of the Rocky Mountains across the torso. The 5,280 will be featured on the top — just like it is at center court. Each player’s uniform number will be on the upper left of the uniform.