Draymond Green thankful to Nikola Jokic for making him a better player

2022-04-30 20:21
Credit: Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via AP
Credit Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via AP

Denver Nuggets needed only five games to down the Golden State Warriors 4-1 and get their hands on the ticket to the next round of the NBA playoffs.

Nikola Jokic had a strong performance. The reigning NBA MVP finished with 30 points, 19 rebounds and eight assists. He had scored 37 points apiece in Game 3 and Game 4. The Serbian center had a double-double of 25 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, three steals and one block.

In the end, Green and the Warriors were too much for the Nuggets, who were playing without Jamal Murray (ACL recovery) and Michael Porter Jr. (back injury).

Player of the Game
Klay  Thompson
EFF
22
Klay Thompson
Points 15
Accuracy 5-13
Rebounds 9
Assists 3

Draymond Green scored 11 points, dished out 6 assists, in Game 5. A week ago, Green praised Jokic, saying, "I feel like he’s going to try and come out and give me 40, 15 and 15 next game."

"He's the MVP for a reason. He’s possibly the MVP again, we don’t know yet, for a reason" Green added.

"When I’m guarding him, I’m also playing chess," Green concluded. "It’s a lot of different games within the game that you have to play against a guy that’s that smart."

As soon as the Warriors eliminated the Denver Nuggets with a 102-98 win in Game 5, Green and Jokic hugged each other on the court. Asked what the conversation was about, Green revealed that all the wanted to do was thank Jokic for helping him improve.

"I just told him 'Thank you for making me better,'" Green said.

"It's absolutely incredible to play against a guy like that. Incredible, incredible talent. So 'Thank you for making me better.'

It's an honor and pleasure to play against someone so talented and so skilled. And usually when you have guys that talented and that skilled, they are a little soft. He's far, far from soft. He's an absolutely incredible player."

While Jokic could win his second straight NBA MVP this season, Green knows that the competition made him better and will prepare him for the Warriors' next series against either the Memphis Grizzlies or Minnesota Timberwolves.



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