Please Don't Ever Award Nikola Jokic a Shooting Foul From The Opposite Baseline

Sacramento Kings v Denver Nuggets
Sacramento Kings v Denver Nuggets / Brendall O'Banon/Clarkson Creative/GettyImages

The Denver Nuggets beat the Miami Heat, 103-97, on Thursday night in a rematch of the 2023 NBA Finals. Denver is now 5-0 in the regular season against Miami over the last three seasons to go along with a 4-1 advantage in the Finals. The teams will meet again on March 13th on ESPN if you're curious to see if the Zombie Heat can beat the Nuggets in Miami at least.

But enough about the Heat [losing] in 5. We're here to talk about Nikola Jokic, who scored 30 points on 12 of 23 shooting against the vaunted Heat defense last night. We're here to talk about one of his shots that did not count in the stats.

After Jimmy Butler cut the Nuggets lead to two with 10 seconds remaining, the ball was inbounded to Jokic in the corner. As Terry Rozier went to give a foul and stop the clock, Jokic went up and tried to heave the ball down the court so he could get three free throws.

Despite the fact that Jokic was technically in a shooting motion, it was called a take foul on the floor and the Nuggets had to take the ball out of bounds while the two-time MVP made his case that he was really trying to shoot. The referees stuck with the initial call. Jokic went on to get fouled again and make two free throws to ice the game and Denver still won.

After the game both Jokic and coach Mike Malone were asked about the play. Apparently, this is something Jokic has been trying for years and he really wants those three free throws. Malone, half-tongue-in-cheek and half-assed supporting his star, explained both what the officials are seeing and that Jokic practices that shot regularly.

Luckily, this didn't affect the outcome of the game because I'm not sure the sports talk shows could handle such a silly debate about what should count as a shot in basketball like we're discussing NFL catch rules. Shots like these aren't really shots and we all know it. The only reason to even ask for this foul is help give officials the required bravery to call a foul on a full-court heave at the buzzer.

This is akin to the swing-through move that the NBA stopped awarding free throws for. It's just not a real shot. Jokic doesn't need this. Neither does the NBA.