Home Nuggets West Notes: Nuggets, Nikola Jokic, Blazers, Rockets

West Notes: Nuggets, Nikola Jokic, Blazers, Rockets


Reigning back-to-back league MVP and Nuggets center Nikola Jokic said he isn’t focused on chasing awards.

“To be honest, the MVP trophy might mean a little more to me when I finish my career,” he said, as relayed by Eurohoops. “I didn’t chase that recognition or think about it. When you want something and then you get it, it’s logical to be happy.

“However, that award wasn’t for me not even on my mind, so maybe I’m not overjoyed enough because of that. I have to admit that I don’t play for records, nor to be the best in triple-doubles.”

  • Meanwhile, coach Michael Malone said that Jokic not receiving a third such MVP because he’s already won two wouldn’t be right. “That’s lazy,” Malone said, via Mike Singer of the Denver Post.

Trail Blazers

Guard Gary Payton II is expected to make his Trail Blazers debut on Monday vs. the Pistons, per the team, as Payton is not listed on the injury report.

Payton signed a three-year contract with the Blazers in free agency over the summer — but has yet to appear in a game following core muscle surgery.

He averaged 7.1 points and 3.5 rebounds in 71 games with the Warriors last season, emerging as one of the NBA’s better backcourt defenders. Payton has also spent time with the Bucks, Lakers and Wizards.


When asked how much the Rockets have improved since the start of the season, veteran guard Eric Gordon was direct.

“There’s no improvement,” Gordon said, via Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston.

Gordon pointed to the young Rockets’ penchant for committing turnovers, a result perhaps of too many guys trying to carry the offense themselves.

“Same old thing all year. We have a small margin for error,” Gordon said. “It’s a lot of things. It’s a mindset. You got to play for one another. Do what’s right by your teammates. If you do that, it’d be more fun. You give yourself a better chance to win.”

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