Nikola Jokic defends refs even after horribly officiated Game 2

Denver Nuggets, NBA Playoffs, Portland Trail Blazers

Nikola Jokic went to bat for the awful officials in Game 2 of the Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets first-round playoff series.

In between all the whistles by the officials, Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets were able to tie their first-round series vs. the Portland Trail Blazers up at a game apiece on Monday night.

If the late-night Western Conference start made it difficult for you to stay up through Game 2’s entirety, the blatant referee showcase made it next to impossible. Denver would bounce back to win Game 2 128-109 after Portland stole Game 1 on the road over the weekend. Even if the referees made this game an abysmal watch, Jokic defended them in the postgame presser.

Here is what the presumptive NBA MVP had to say about the officials after the fact Monday.

Nikola Jokic defends referees after calling a terrible game on Monday night

When you have a game with upwards of 47 fouls called, 54 free throws attempted, two flagrant assessed and four guys receiving technical fouls, you can say the referees had a very difficult time swallowing the whistle. While the game could have been chippy in a high-stakes contest between Northwest Division rivals, this is a television product at its core and the referees so ruined that.

Jokic understands that the referees have a difficult job, but he does not need to placate them here. If you want to get more people to watch your games, swallow the whistle and let stars like Jokic and Portland point guard Damian Lillard play. Otherwise, you are going to put your audience to sleep. Ultimately, the referees set the tone from this game from opening tipoff to the final buzzer.

Don’t let the referees take control of your beloved television product, just go out and play.

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