When the two teams spotted each other Friday, Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic made an astute point. These would probably be the last pleasantries both parties exchanged for the next week and a half. So be it.
This was most apparent during the first half of Denver’s win over Utah in the bubble last weekend when Jokic had just two points at halftime and the Jazz led by 14. Don’t be surprised if the Jazz simply match Jokic’s minutes with Gobert’s over the course of the series. The Nuggets' offensive rating, according to tracking data from NBA.com, is 106.6 this season on possessions when Gobert guards Jokic — 6 points lower than their season average.
Gregg Popovich didn't put much thought into San Antonio's playoff streak when it was rolling along. The Spurs' record-tying run of 22 consecutive playoff appearances is over, and the longest season in team history - almost 300 days from the first game to the last - is also, strangely, over earlier than the NBA is used to seeing. The final outcome was a 118-112 loss to the Utah Jazz on Thursday night, a game that was meaningless in the standings.