Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra Reacts Angrily to Reporter’s Question About Nikola Jokic

Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra Reacts Angrily to Reporter’s Question About Nikola Jokic

Edwin Kiplagat
June 5, 2023 at 2:27 PM
  • Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was livid when a reporter asked him a question about Nikola Jokic
  • The reporter had asked if teams turn Jokic into a passer or a scorer when defending against him
  • The Heat won Game 2 to tie the best of seven NBA Finals series against the Denver Nuggets at 1-1

Miami Heat coach, Erik Spoelstra was not happy when asked about how teams turn Nikola Jokic into a passer or a scorer. He shut down the question from the reporter, and the video has gone viral.

Jokic was exceptional in Game 1, but his 41 points in Game 2 didn't help the Denver Nuggets take a 2-0 lead, with the Heat winning 111-108 to tie the series 1-1.

Michael Malone, Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon, Michael Porter Jr, Jimmy Butler, Gabe Vincent, Erik Spoelstra, Ramona Shelburne
Nikola Jokic is averaging a triple-double in the playoffs. Photos by Matthew Stockman and Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE.
Source: Getty Images

The two-time MVP had a decent Game 1 performance, where he finished with 27 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists.

In game 2, the Heat made a few adjustments that paid off. They inserted Kaevin Love into the lineup to add more size to their frontcourt.

Jokic had 41 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists - his fewest in a game in the postseason. Spoelstra elected to make life difficult for Jamal Murray and Denver's supporting cast, a move which worked.

They opted for single-man coverage as opposed to sending a double team, per Sporting News.

Spoelstra blasts reporter over question

ESPN reporter, Ramona Shelburne asked Spoelstra after the game about teams turning Jokic into a passer or a scorer. He quickly shut her down before she could finish the question and was looking visibly incensed.

“That’s ridiculous. That’s the untrained eye that says something like that. This guy’s an incredible player, twice in two seasons he’s been the best player on this planet. You can't just say, 'Oh, make him a scorer'. That's not how they play,” he replied, via USA Today.

Although Shelburne's question may sound puzzling, there's some truth to it and numbers suggest that.

The Nuggets are 0-3 in the playoffs this season when Jokic has scored 40+ points. They are 13-1 when he scores fewer than 40 points, per ESPN.

Kerr identifies Game 2 adjustments

Sports Brief earlier reported on Golden State Warriors coach, Steve Kerr revealing the key adjustments the Heat made in Game 2.

He said the Miami side decided to blitz Jamal Murray, who torched them in Game 1, and add Love in the lineup to bring more size.

The Heat also made things difficult for the Denver Nuggets supporting cast, including Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Junior.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Editor- Other Sports