By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]
Nikola Jokic will not play in the Denver Nuggets preseason opener against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on Monday, said head coach Michael Malone, per Mike Singer of the Denver Post.
Jokic, 26, recently became a father. He officially announced the good news along with his wife on Wednesday. They decided to name the baby girl Ognjena.
The 2021 NBA MVP did not participate in the first part of the Nuggets training camp held at the University of California San Diego. He was therefore expected to miss the prep game versus the Clippers. However, Malone hopes his star player to be back with the team shortly after Monday’s friendly match.
“Get better,” pointed out the Nuggets boss regarding the preseason debut focusing on the remaining members of the squad, “Preseason games are never about wins and losses, but every time we go on that floor, it’s an opportunity for us to establish our identity.”
The Nuggets are scheduled to meet the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on October 6, the Minnesota Timberwolves at Ball Arena on October 8, and the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena on October 13 and at BOK center on October 14. The Joker is likely to play in preseason games after getting some practice with his teammates, and from there focus on the 2021-22 Regular Season.
“These five preseason games that we have are all part of training camp,” added Malone, “Everything leading up to the 20th of October is a part of training camp. And our first goal as an organization is to find a way to improve every single day.”
The Regular Season opener for the team of the Serbian big is against the Phoenix Suns on October 20.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
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