The Trail Blazers are upset about an elbow from Nuggets center Nikola Jokic in Friday’s four-overtime game that aggravated Enes Kanter‘s left shoulder injury, relays Royce Young of ESPN. Kanter said his shoulder was separated “more” during the game and blames a shot from Jokic that he posted on social media following the game (Twitter link).
Portland coach Terry Stotts addressed the situation today, saying it was “uncalled for” and he “certainly didn’t approve of it.” He isn’t sure if the NBA plans to review the play for possible disciplinary action against Jokic. Technical or flagrant fouls can be handed out retroactively, Young notes.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone defended his star center and disagreed with Stotts’ view of the incident.
“Normal play,” Malone said. “I think Terry is off base there. Personally, I don’t think it was anything malicious. Just like some of their screens in the first two games, I don’t think there was anything malicious to it — with Kanter getting tossed into Torrey Craig. This is the playoffs. We’re all big boys, let’s go out and play the game accordingly.
“I have known Nikola Jokic for four years. He doesn’t have that kind of personality, he doesn’t have that DNA gene where he’s going to go out there and make non-basketball plays and try to hurt anybody or do anything that is beyond the limits of what is sportsmanship and what is not sportsmanship. So I would definitely not agree with Terry’s assessment.”
Kanter separated his shoulder in the final game of the first-round series against the Thunder. Despite playing in pain, he logged 56 minutes last night and posted 18 points and 15 rebounds.
Kanter said after the game that he had to tuck his left arm in his jersey because he was unable to lift it. He received treatment from the team’s medical staff today and his status for tomorrow’s Game 4 remains uncertain.