On Monday, the Nuggets scored 26 free throws out of 32 in the second half of their game, with Jokic perfecting it against the Warriors, helping them secure a win.
Kerr Frustrated as Warriors Fall to Nuggets
Last year’s champions, the Denver Nuggets, won against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day with a score of 120-114. However, star players Nikola Jokic and Stephen Curry had trouble making shots. Both teams made 40 field goals and 14 three-pointers, so the game’s deciding factor was free throws.
Denver made 26 out of 32 free throws, and Jokic was exceptional, going 18-for-18, setting a record for the most successful free throws without a miss on Christmas Day. On the other hand, the Warriors made 20 out of 23 free throws, contributing to their six-point loss. The second half was intense regarding fouls, with the Nuggets attempting 26 free throws out of their 32.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr expressed his frustration, believing that some players were drawing fouls with minimal contact, and he shared his opinion after the game.
“If I were a fan, I wouldn’t have wanted to watch the second half of that game. It was disgusting.”
Steve Kerr believes the NBA has legislated defense out of the game pic.twitter.com/KdSwQByhTh
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) December 25, 2023
Here’s a scenario that Kerr is probably talking about. As Jokic moves down the court, he encounters slight contact from Warriors rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis. However, Jokic’s response, a sudden movement and a glance at the referee, leads to a foul being called and him getting two free throws.
Kerr Blames Fouls for Christmas Loss Against the Nuggets
In recent seasons, the NBA has made significant strides in removing “non-basketball moves” from the game. Deliberate actions by offensive players to collide with defenders and draw fouls have been largely restricted. This season, the popular “rip through” move is expected to result in a foul only if the player faces the basket.
Despite these changes, Kerr’s main argument still holds. Defenders face limited options under the current rules regarding contact, especially considering the speed and skill of today’s offensive players. Superstars, in particular, have a history of enticing referees to make calls, a trend unlikely to change anytime soon.
Understandably, Kerr would feel frustrated after witnessing Jokic consistently earn trips to the free throw line in the second half of their Christmas Day loss.
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