Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic Facing Suspension, Says ‘I Feel Bad’

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is facing a suspension after shoving Heat forward Markieff Morris to the court late in Denver’s win on Monday night, per Joe Vardon of the The Athletic.Nikola Jokic

Jokic was reacting to what he considered to be a hard foul from Morris. Both players were ejected and Heat forward Jimmy Butler was tagged with a technical foul.

Photos depicted Heat players waiting for Jokic and the Nuggets outside the locker room after the game, before security intervened. Morris appeared to be injured following the incident.

“It’s a stupid play. I feel bad, I’m not supposed to react that way,” Jokic said. “But it’s in the middle of the game, I get hit. … I think it was a dirty play (by Morris) and then I just needed to protect myself.

“I felt bad. I’m not supposed to react that way, and to not get thrown out of a game. I cannot help my team win the game, which is the most important thing. It happens, I feel bad.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra gave his own take on the incident.

“It’s just absolutely uncalled for, and it would have looked a lot different, this whole thing could have been a lot uglier if Markieff was actually facing Jokic,” Spoelstra said. “The fact that he had his back turned, and he made a play like that, blindsiding, it was just a very dangerous play.”

Jokic, 26, is the reigning NBA MVP. He is averaging 25.4 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.7 assists in 10 games this season.

Nuggets coach Mike Malone, who ran on the court to help separate Nuggets players from the Heat, said he expects Jokic to play Wednesday vs. the Pacers.

“I will concern myself when they tell us he’s suspended,” Malone said. “I am not going to waste any of my time looking into my crystal ball and my tea leaves. I don’t have any of that. He’s available until they tell me he’s not. And I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be available Wednesday night.”

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