So, yes, Jokic, the scorer can be extremely versatile and devastating, and he’s beginning to better realize, the pass-loving big man that he is, that there are instances that require him to gravitate toward more of a scoring role. But the beauty of Jokic, and what speaks most clearly to his legitimate candidacy as an All-NBA player, is that he rarely loses sight of who he is and what makes him special, even if he doesn’t fully realize how special he is. Jokic is ultimately at his best when he is the do-it-all magician he has become the last two seasons. […] “To even watch his growth from the beginning of the year to the end of the year and watch his confidence level continue to rise to one of the stars in this league, it’s been impressive,” Nuggets forward Paul Millsap said of Jokic. “For me to watch that, it’s been great to watch it firsthand. He can only get better from here.”
October 22, 2018 | 5:56 am EDT Update
Irving, 26, and from nearby West Orange, N.J., is the type of electrifying floor leader the Knicks have coveted since Walt Frazier. Or at least since Mark Jackson was competing for playing time with Irving’s godfather, Rod Strickland. In their wildest dreams, the Knicks envision a lineup featuring – drum roll, please — Irving, a healthy Porzingis and Kevin Durant. (We did say dream.) If you thought LeBron’s home debut on Saturday in Los Angeles was a big deal, just image the hysteria next October if the Knicks pull that one off. “Kyrie can play anywhere and deal with any type of pressure,” Strickland said over the telephone.
Speaking on Sunday night, 24 hours after his colleague traded punches with Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo, Anthony said he had feared Paul would be hit with a far stiffer sentence. “I’m actually a little shocked at the number of games that they are missing,” Anthony said, following the Rockets’ 115-112 defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers. Lakers’ swingman Brandon Ingram was banned for four games, Rondo for three. “It actually works in our favor to be honest with you,” he continued. “I have seen it go 10-15 games before – I was the culprit of that years ago. But to see CP – I don’t want to be speaking on CP – but to see CP only get two games … I didn’t know what to expect to be honest. “Nothing surprises me with the NBA anymore, nothing surprises me. So for him to only get two games is good.”
Green was asked how they fix the foul problem. “I don’t know,” Green said. “Some of them are questionable. Like Klay’s one, Gary Harris is a hell of a cutter, you got to be into his body. He’s flying off the screen to his right hand, he’s great at that. So you body up and then you get called for going over the screen, I don’t know what you do right there, but in the same sense some of the fouls we have are just dumb as hell. Like we’re in the bonus like six, seven, eight minutes to go in every quarter, we’re still fouling — so I think some of [the calls] are a bit questionable and then some of them are on us, just ridiculous.”
Warriors star Stephen Curry believes his team will adjust, but he acknowledge that the game is being called differently than it has in the past. “A lot of it is just the speed of the game,” Curry said. “You can’t really simulate defensive possessions like that in the offseason, you got to kind of adjust on the fly. It’s definitely called differently this year early, they’ve demonstrated that. So we got to adjust if that’s the way it’s going to be consistently. But that’s a common theme the first three games of the regular season, why teams have had a lot of momentum early, it’s because we put them on the free throw line. Obviously, you know how that affects the game in terms of easy points and also slowing the game down. We got to make adjustments.”