• Denver coach Mike Malone said that Nikola Jokic (hip) and Emmanuel Mudiay (back) will not travel with the team for Saturday’s game against the Suns or Tuesday’s game against the Lakers.

    Jokic is in top-10 territory in recent weeks and is expected to continue his dominance for the rest of his season. As the steal of the year in most leagues, hopefully he won’t miss more than the expected two games. Malone had great things to say about Jokic after Thursday’s game. “If you go back earlier in the season and all of the close games that we lost, some would say that you need a closer or an All-Star. I think what you are seeing now is that Nikola has become that guy. Nikola is truly beloved by all of his teammates. He has no ego, he’s a young kid, he likes to have fun, he’s a little bit goofy and the guys love him. He doesn’t take himself too serious and with all the success he is having, he is still the same kid. I think that is why everybody cares about him and respects him.”

    Jusuf Nurkic started in place of Jokic the last time he missed a game on January 7 and produced 11 points, nine rebounds, three steals and a block in 26 minutes. He did not even get into the game in two of the previous three but may be worth a speculative add in 12-14 team leagues.

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