The Nikola Jokic assist of the week: Pretty pass, pretty play design

Last time we were here I promised to get back to the sexy stuff. You had to know I wouldn’t lie to you.

CHRISTIAN-lighter

OK, so last time we were here I promised to get back to the sexy stuff. Dribble hand offs are cool and all, but they’re not exactly the type of passes that make people in the crowd do the stink face.

You had to know I wouldn’t lie to you. This one comes from Sunday’s game against the Grizzlies.

Not only is this a gorgeous pass; it’s also gorgeous play design. Nikola Jokic sets a screen for Danilo Gallinari just above the free throw line. Instead of curling around the screen, Gallinari goes to set a screen of his own for the ball handler, Jameer Nelson. Nelson quickly whips a pass to Jokic, who throws a perfect alley-oop to Gallinari for the flush.

Don’t be surprised if Denver uses this one a lot moving forward. It puts the defense in such a tough spot. Gallinari’s defender, Tony Allen, had to fight through a screen and then immediately worry about the threat of Nelson using Gallinari’s screen. Jokic made Memphis pay with the quick, accurate lob.

Here’s one more look:

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