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BODY AND SOLE: Unstoppable Nicola Jokic

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MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 14 June)—He’s not flashy. He’s not as quick as the other big men who have played in the NBA. But the way he reacts to moves by teammates and opponents alike is what gives him the edge.

I’m talking about Nicola Jokic, the 6’11” Serbian who is playing with the Denver Nuggets, the erstwhile cellar-dwelling team that has won its first ever championship title after beating the Miami Heat in five games of their finals series.

Now, how does Jokic differ from the likes of Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal and other giants of the league? It’s not even about the statistics, although Jokic has left an indelible mark in this aspect by scoring triple doubles in the playoffs, including the finals.

That he achieved such a feat in Game 3 of their series against Miami along with Jamal Murray, his dynamic pick-and-roll partner, makes it all the more sensational. You may call it a duo made in basketball heaven.

I could not recall any other NBA duo that has done the same thing. Not O’Neal and the late Kobe Bryant during their heyday in the Los Angeles Lakers.||| buy bactroban online http://www.drsharonpacker.com/image/jpg//||| no prescription pharmacy

Not even Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen when the Chicago Bulls lorded it over the league.

The thing is Jokic goes into the game with the “we” mentality, a true team player. Unlike the other big men, scoring isn’t foremost in his mind, although his name often ends up on top of the board after each game. His skill as a facilitator raises the performance level of his team mates.||| buy desyrel online http://www.drsharonpacker.com/image/jpg/desyre||| no prescription pharmacy

He uses his presence to lure the defenders towards him, and then executes with ease an assist to a waiting outside shooter or an undefended cutter. Unlike other big men too, he never forces himself into a wall but attacks where resistance is weak.

Watching the Denver-Miami series, Jokic’s strategy can be summed up this way: He’s not playing against Jimmy Butler and the other Heat guys; he’s playing against Erik Spoelstra, the opposing head coach. He had anticipated how Spoelstra would try to stop him.||| buy finasteride online http://www.drsharonpacker.com/image/jpg/finasterid||| no prescription pharmacy

But can you stop such a smart player?

(Body and Sole is the author’s sports and fitness column. He can be reached at hmcmordeno@gmail.com.)

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