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Denver Nuggets forward Vlatko Cancar talked about playing on NBA Christmas Day against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Q: What do you think has been the key to your team’s success this season?

VC:Everybody is embracing their role and everybody is fine with how many minutes they play and how many shots they take because the main goal, the main focus is a championship.”

Q: Realistically can you reach the playoffs and what would you say to those who will still say you are outsiders?

VC:It’s going to be tougher this year just because of what we did last year. The difference between Europe and the NBA is in Europe every game counts, and I think we’re starting to realise here, ‘OK, we have to have that mentality that every game counts.’ We’ve proven that and we’re going up from there.”

Q: Which of your teammates has impressed you the most this season with his performance?

VC: “I would say Will (Barton). Will has been just amazing on both ends of the floor. Besides Nikola and Jamal he’s been a really great leader of the team. I would put Will No. 1.”

Q: How do you rate your team’s chances against the Pelicans?

VC: “We’re trying to go day by day, practice by practice and game by game. We try not to look too far ahead.”

Q: How do you think the Pelicans are dealing with Zion’s absence? 

VC: “They’re a good team. Unfortunately, they’ve had I don’t know how many losses in a row, but it’s tough. There are some periods where you unfortunately can’t win a game. I’m sure the guys are giving their best and practicing really hard, it’s just basketball. I don’t think the guys are looking for excuses, but maybe a tough schedule and they also have a lot injuries, but they are not quitting.”

Q: Which other young players have impressed you from the Pelicans?

VC: “Brandon Ingram. I really enjoy watching him play, just the way he creates his own shots and how he uses his body to create space. When I watch him, I try to learn something from him.”

Q: Are these Christmas Day games more special than other regular season games and why?

VC: “I don’t think so. It’s just another game, it just happens to be on Christmas. It’s just another regular season game.”

Q: What is your favourite thing about Christmas?

VC: “My favourite thing about Christmas is getting together with my family and spending time with them.”

Q: Is there anything in particular you want for Christmas?

VC: “I don’t know, not really. I would like my parents to be here but unfortunately they’re not going to be here. That would be a great Christmas present.”

Q: How does it feel to be playing on Christmas? Do you miss spending time with your family?

VC: “I’ve kind of gotten used to it. Since I was 16 I’ve lived without my parents. It’s more tough for them than me because I’ve gotten used to it. I still try to talk to them every day and try to FaceTime them. You have so many options to connect with your parents miles and miles away.”

Q: How will your teammates celebrate Christmas as a team?

VC:I’m not sure. This is my first year with the team. When I was in Europe we would have Christmas dinner.” 

Q: Do you personally have any Christmas traditions?

VC: “The Christmas lunch we would have together, to have the whole family together.”

Q: Is there any place in the world you would like to spend Christmas someday? 

VC: “That’s a really good question. I’ve never really thought about it. I don’t know; it’s a really good question to think about.”

The Denver Nuggets take on the New Orleans Pelicans as part of NBA Christmas Day games on Sky Sports. The NBA Christmas Day games are available to watch on Sky Sports Arena on Dec. 25 starting from 5pm in the UK. The Nuggets also host the Memphis Grizzlies at European Primetime on Dec. 28 on Sky Sports from 10pm.