Nikola Jokic Impresses Nick Nurse With His Z-Bounding Prowess | Sideline Sources

Nick Nurse is confused about how Nikola Jokic rebounds his misses without missing a beat. This is after the Philadelphia 76ers‘ disappointing rebounding run in the last 15 games.

Nick Nurse Wonders How Nikola Jokic Does It

In an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer, Nurse wonders how the Denver Nuggets big man can do what he does—that is missing and knowing “where it’s going to miss.” At least, no one is as consistent as Jokic in creating these opportunities.

Due to this, the Sixers need to “double-team” him for a rebound, which creates extra pressure for another player. Consequently, this gives Philadelphia more space on the court, which usually doesn’t result in a favorable tradeoff for the players.

“I don’t know how he does it. He shoots it [and] he absolutely knows where it’s going to miss. He must be pushing off a little bit or something, because nobody can get those. You really need somebody to come from the other side of him athletically, and jump up and get those from the other side. Because whatever he’s going to do to the guy in front of him isn’t working.”

Nick Nurse

The Sixers head coach has gone to the point that he expects his players to rebound only when the shot goes in. If Jokic’s shot misses, he’ll most likely rebound it himself.

Not only that, but he claims that the reigning Finals MVP doesn’t even overexert himself to rebound the misses. Furthermore, Jokic supplements this skill set further with impeccable timing.

There’s a reason why many consider him to be the best player in the league.

“The only rebound the guy in front of him has is the one that’s coming through the net. Somehow, that guy ends up down there every time. But [Jokic] doesn’t jump and he’s got really long arms and he’s got incredible timing to know where his misses are going.”

Nick Nurse

What Is A Z-Bound?

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 11: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets grabs a rebound against Clint Capela #15 of the Atlanta Hawks during the second quarter at State Farm Arena on December 11, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It’s the statistic that counts how many rebounds the player gets off their misses. The Z in “Z-Bound” is due to Zach Randolph, the league leader for Z-bounding.

This season, Jokic achieved 50 Z-bounds with a 19.38 percent on missed shots. The second on the list is Chicago Bulls‘s Andre Drummond at 28 with 31.46 percent Z-bounds on missed shots.

Nurse has a point, considering the big man leads the season in Z-bounds. The only question is: How does he do it?

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