PJ Dozier of the Denver Nuggets talked ahead of the European Primetime game this weekend against the Rockets on Sky Sports Arena.
Q: For the second year in a row, you’re the second-best team in the Western Conference. What do you think you can improve on as a team to top the league?
PD: “Absolutely. That’s why we play. We’ve got the utmost confidence in our team and our ability to have that top spot and ultimately win that championship. That’s what we’re shooting for.”
Q: Do you think you can contest the Lakers for first place? What will you need to do achieve the top spot?
PD: “I believe so. Just play Denver basketball. Get after it for 48 minutes. We’re going to need a full game to beat them and that’s what we’ll do.”
Q: Everyone’s talking about the importance of Michael Porter Jr. to the team. What have you made of his performances and is he the secret to you making the Western Conference finals?
PD: “This organization has a lot of confidence in what he can do, just as us players have confidence in him. He has a lot of confidence in himself. What he’s been doing hasn’t been a surprise to us, we knew he just needed and opportunity and he’s taken full advantage of it.”
Q: You’re facing the Rockets during European Primetime next Sunday. How tough are the Rockets to play? How do you stop players like James Harden and Russell Westbrook?
PD: “They’re a tough team. They’re going to come out and get a lot of 3s up. If we can limit them to as less 3s as possible that’ll be good for us. Just make sure we get a lot of contests. We know James is going to take and make tough shots and we’ve got to limit that. You’ve got to slow them down. They’re great players, they’ve been doing this a long time. Just try to knock them off their game a little bit. That’s all we need to do.”
Q: We’re at the halfway point in the season. What’s your assessment so far and what are your expectations for the rest of the season?
PD: “Just be consistent. Playing the whole 48 minutes is important for us, not coming out lackadaisical. If we play all four quarters we’re a tough team to beat.”
Q: Who would you say has been the Nuggets’ standout player this season and why?
PD: “Definitely Joker [Nikola Jokić]. He’s been the head of the snake, him and Jamal Murray, of course. They’re the head of the snake and when they come and show up we’re a tough team. They’ve been doing this for a long time as well. We definitely lean on those two.”
Q: Who is your MVP this season?
PD: “That’s a tough question. We’ve been focused on what we’ve got to do here and everything else takes care of itself. If you ask me I’m putting Joker into that category.”
NBA Saturdays and Sundays presented by NBA2K20 on Sky Sports – part of a record 48 Primetime games live on Sky Sports starting from 7.00pm every weekend. This week on 25 January the Utah Jazz host the Dallas Mavericks on Sky Sports Arena from 10pm. The Denver Nuggets host the Houston Rockets on 26 January from 8.30pm on Sky Sports Arena.