Will Barton knew the pass was coming as soon as Nikola Jokic picked up the ball.
In the second quarter of Monday’s Nuggets-Lakers game, Jamal Murray hoisted a straightaway 3 that came up short. Jokic collected the rebound on a bounce. Then with his back turned to the basket, he whipped this Larry Bird-esque pass to a cutting Barton:
“Just classic Jok,” Barton said after the game. “It’s standard now. I hope you guys don’t get excited anymore. He does it all the time. I knew he was going to throw that pass as soon as he picked up the ball. And exactly like that. I knew he was going to throw it behind his head. Once you start playing with guys, you know their tendencies. And I know Jok.”
The Nuggets ended up routing the Lakers 129-101. It was the 15th time Denver eclipsed the 120-point mark since Dec. 15, the day Jokic became the team’s starting center. The Nuggets would do it for a 16th time in a 129-114 victory over the Clippers on Thursday.
“It was just one of those passes that Nikola makes that most other guys don’t even think about making, and more importantly, don’t have the vision to see the guy cutting behind them. He’s always a step or two ahead. that’s why he’s a great playmaker, a great facilitator.”
Subscribe to Denverite’s weekly sports newsletter here.