NUGGETS

NBA gives Nikola Jokic a weak fine for flopping

Dec 3, 2023, 1:50 PM

Only three NBA teams have shot fewer free throws than the Denver Nuggets about a quarterway through the season.

The NBA champions are not only getting a tough whistle, but now their star player is getting a minor fine for falling down after an off-balanced shot. Late in Denver’s tight Saturday night loss to the Kings, Joker took a free throw line jumper over fellow star big man Domantas Sabonis. Sabonis was possibly wrongly assessed a foul, but it’s a play where Jokic falls over quite a bit due to the lack of a landing spot, which is supposed to be a foul in the league.

The play is below or on NBA.com.

Jokic is shooting 6.4 free throws a game, pacing for a career-high. However, this mark is only 17th in the league between Jayson Tatum, and Julius Randle, which doesn’t sit completely right when considering Jokic has taken the ninth-most shots per game in the league five feet and in from the basket and the most shots per game nine feet to five feet from the rim.

The two-time MVP trails far behind in getting to the stripe the former two-time MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo, who gets 9.9 a contest, or last year’s MVP Joel Embidd, who is shooting nearly 12 free throw attempts a game. Joker and his head coach Michael Malone have voiced their displeasure with the whistles, both getting kicked out of a game in Detriot last month.

Now Jokic is a flopper and has to pay a fine because the refs have no clue how to officiate the league’s best player. Jokic is having one of his best seasons yet, and despite missing Jamal Murray a lot early, Denver has the third-best record in the West.

The entire NBA is off on Sunday, the Nuggets return with a game in Los Angeles this week and have a road-heavy slate until Christmas.

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