Nikola Jokic truly is the greatest show in town.
Tonight, for the first time in years, the crowd at Pepsi Center was buzzing with excitement for him, giving him a standing ovation after scoring 14 points in the first quarter. The cheers picked up again when he got up off of the bench to check back in midway through the 2nd quarter. And for most of the night, every pass, dribble, or shot had the crowd hanging on whatever might happen next.
It was a really cool energy that, unfortunately, was dampened by a few bad fouls, some uninspired defense, and an avalanche of offensive rebounds. Still, if there is a tiny glimmer of silver lining to all of this it’s that Nikola Jokic continues to blow us away whenever he can stay on the court. His upside is looking like it might even be much higher than we thought as recently as a month ago. Last game it was his passing. Tonight it was his scoring. Jokic looked unafraid of Joel Embiid and unafraid of challenging anybody on the offensive end.
The Nuggets will still figure it out eventually. For now, at least we have new highlights to add to the reel.