It's safe to say Erik Spoelstra wasn't happy with Nikola Jokic shoving Markieff Morris during the Denver Nuggets' 113-96 win over the Miami Heat on Monday night. The 2021 NBA MVP lost his cool after Morris bumped into him. Nikola shoved his rival and sparked a scuffle between Nuggets and Heat players.
After that play, Jimmy Butler seemingly wanted smoke with Jokic and Marcus Morris took to Twitter to defend his brother. The Joker explained what went through his mind during those moments, admitting he felt bad after watching the replay.
Erik Spoelstra watched the play, too, and he felt it was a dirty play from the Serbian center. Talking with reporters, the Heat head coach called out the big man, saying the play was dangerous.
“We just wanted to make sure that Kieff was and is okay. We’ll find out more. He’s moving around right now in the locker room. But that was a very dangerous, dirty play. I thought Kieff took a foul and it was one of those fastbreak take fouls. And when he dipped, you might deem that as a little bit more than just slapping somebody.”
Spoelstra believes the play could have resulted in something worse for his player. Fortunately, it didn't, and Morris was fine after the incident.
“But after I watched it on film, it was a take foul. That’s how I saw it. And the play after that was just absolutely uncalled for. This whole thing could have been a whole lot uglier if Markieff was actually facing Jokic. The fact that he had his back turned and he made a play like that, blindsiding him, that was just a very dangerous play.”
This was too much for both players. Obviously, everybody will defend their team, but this could have been avoided. Now Jokic is facing a suspension and the Heat fans will treat him really bad when he visits Miami at the end of the month.
Nuggets-Heat won't become a rivalry all of a sudden, but we could see an intense duel the next time these two teams clash.