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Frank Vogel on Nikola Jokic: “He’s the most unique player in the NBA”

Nikola Jokic Anthony Davis
Photo: Los Angeles Times

Frank Vogel and the Los Angeles Lakers are set to face the Denver Nuggets, led by the reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic. According to Lakers head coach, his team will focus on guarding the Serbian center, who is different from other players in the league.

“Well you mentioned it it starts with Joker obviously,” Vogel said. “A lot of different coverages go into guarding all the action that he’s in. He’s the most unique player in the NBA. A lot of our focus today was just to go over those unique coverages.”

Lakers head coach also talked about the tactics that are most effective against Jokic. “We’ll see,” he said. “I’m not going to release my lineups. But there’s a lot of value in trying to stretch him out, make him guard on the perimeter as much as possible and use the space we’ve been using offensively. But I’m not gonna release what lineups we’ll use with that.”

This season, Jokic is averaging 25.5 points, 14 rebounds and 7 assists in 32.7 minutes per game for the Nuggets. Denver and Los Angeles have similar records — 21-19 and 21-21 respectively — and are sitting next to each other in the Western Conference standings.

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