Devin Booker, the star guard for the Phoenix Suns, recently spoke about the difficulty of slowing down Nikola Jokic in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals. Jokic had a historic night, scoring 53 points – the highest ever by a Nuggets player in playoffs – but Denver still lost the game 124-129, tying the series 2-2.
When asked about strategies to contain Jokic, Booker said, “Good question. We’re trying to figure that out. It’s tough man. He can make sure everybody’s involved at the same time, so you don’t want to overhelp because he’ll spray it out and they’re shooting three on the backside. But if you leave the match up there one-on-one, he’s going to make you pay for it. We just always talk about making it hard, making it tough, trying to wear him down.”
Booker also praised Jokic’s defensive abilities, saying “at the same time on defense he’s up on all of our screens. So he’s playing out of his mind. He’s doing what he does.” Despite the difficulty of containing Jokic, Booker expressed satisfaction with the 2-2 series tie, saying “But I’m happy it’s 2-2.”
Jokic’s performance has been outstanding throughout the series, and Booker’s comments highlight the difficulty that the Suns are facing in trying to slow down the two-time MVP. With the series now tied, both teams will be looking to make adjustments in order to gain the upper hand and secure a spot in the conference finals.