Nikola Jokic unleashes genius new trick to gain advantage for Nuggets

Boston Celtics v Denver Nuggets
Boston Celtics v Denver Nuggets / Jamie Schwaberow/GettyImages

There are so many ways that Nikola Jokic impacts a game, and it goes far beyond the stats in his box score. He has been manipulating defenders for his entire career, going beyond the reach of almost everyone who has ever played the game.

But recently, Jokic has unleashed a whole new way to manipulate the game that involves a bit of trickery and a bit of gamesmanship. He’s not breaking any rules, but he is certainly pushing the limits of legality within the game.

New trick against the Celtics

The first time he busted out the trick was last Thursday against the Celtics. Jaylen Brown was driving on Jamal Murray and attempted a pass with his left hand that ended up out of bounds. The referees said Murray tipped the pass out of bounds and the Celtics retained possession.

The Nuggets players on the floor vehemently disagreed and immediately signaled to their bench to challenge the call. Michael Malone was hesitant, but his star was able to buy him some time. 

Jokic went over to the official who was about to give the Celtics the ball to inbound it, then he bent over to “tie his shoes”. Except his shoes weren’t untied. It was a stall tactic by the Joker and a good one at that. 

The move gave Malone and his staff a chance to watch the replay on the jumbotron and ultimately challenge the call. That would not have been possible without the precious extra seconds provided by Nikola.

Back to the well against the Raptors

It was such an effective move that Jokic went right back to the well on Monday against the Raptors. Jokic poked the ball away from R.J. Barrett out of bounds. It was called Raptors ball, but Jokic actually knocked it off Barrett’s hip. 

This time he barely even hesitated, he just bent over and started playing with his shoelaces, even glancing over at his bench to make sure they were calling for the challenge so he could stop.

Nikola Jokic is a basketball genius. He will do anything he possibly can to gain his team an advantage - as he should. The league may eventually catch on and either allow the opponents to inbound the ball, or call a delay of game penalty.

But until it’s regulated in some way, I would imagine we will continue to see this move out of Jokic, and I won’t be surprised if other teams start copying this brilliant maneuver.