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3 Keys to a Nuggets Game Three Victory

Nikola Jokic is a key piece in the Nuggets winning Game 3 tonight.

After two grueling losses in their second-round series against the Minnesota Timberwolves the Denver Nuggets are down 2-0. They need to win tonight to get back in this series. The Nuggets will need to have every player give their all to avoid dropping another game in this series and going down 3-0 which is pretty much a death sentence. Additionally, they cannot afford to give Minnesota any more confidence as this series shifts back to Minnesota starting tonight.

3 Keys to a Nuggets Game Three Victory

Key 1: Jamal Murray’s Health

The health of Jamal Murray has severely affected Denver in this series. Without his shot creation ability, everything has now fallen on Nikola Jokic. Additionally, Minnesota has decided to throw as many bodies as possible at him. This defensive strategy forces him to get rid of the ball. His teammates have been unable to cash in on the high-percentage shots he creates for them. Without Murray, the Nuggets offense has not been as explosive as it was in the regular season.

Notably, Murray is listed as questionable tonight. If Murray is available, he needs to find ways to create high-percentage shots for his teammates. Also, if he cannot attack the paint or get his shot up, he can use his passing abilities to find holes in the Timberwolves’ defense. Furthermore, that will force Minnesota to decide whether to continue to give him all the defensive attention or focus more on his teammates. Allowing him to create shots for himself. Even if he is not healthy he is better than a lot of his peers at finding a way to have a positive impact on the game. Additionally, if Murray looks healthy and plays aggressively throughout tonight’s game Denver has a chance to win this game and get back in this series.

Key 2: Winning or Limiting the Damage of Non-Jokic Minutes

Another reason why Denver is down two games in this series is because of their second unit’s inability to win the non-Jokic minutes. Notably, the Nuggets’ second unit has not been as great as it was last year. Additionally, Mike Malone will need to stagger Michael Porter Jr. and Murray’s minutes. Or find a role player who is not afraid of the moment. Denver’s offense goes cold without somebody to create high-percentage shots for their second unit.

To avoid losing tonight one of their main bench pieces has to come to play tonight. This is especially important with Reggie Jackson being questionable for tonight’s game with a left calf contusion. Additionally, bench points become more important in this game. Against the bench depth of the Timberwolves, this will be particularly crucial. Denver needs to win or limit the damage during the non-Jokic minutes to win tonight’s contest.

Key 3: Jokic Has to Be the Best Player on the Court

Jokic is now a three-time Most Valuable Player award winner. He has made a well-rounded impact in the first two games of the series. However, Jokic has not been the best player on the floor throughout the two games in this matchup. That has been Anthony Edwards who has really put his stamp on this contest averaging an absurd 35 points per game. Jokic not only needs to score but also create high-percentage opportunities for his teammates with his passing ability. Furthermore, he needs to play better defense on Karl-Anthony Towns who has been his primary matchup in this series. As a result, Jokic needs to make him work to score his points. Towns is currently averaging 23 points and eight rebounds per game. If Jokic can slow down Towns that will force Minnesota to get points from their role players.

To whom much is given much is required and right now Jokic has to be the best player on the court tonight for his team to win. Additionally, if Murray does not play tonight, Jokic has to find ways to further elevate his impact on both sides of the court. In hopes of dragging his team over the finish line and beating the aggressive Timberwolves on their home floor.

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