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Nikola Jokic to replace Joel Embiid in Skills Challenge

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The Joker will be taking his magic to a second event in New Orleans

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

In case there’s anyone out there who is still unfamiliar with just how good Nikola Jokic is at basketball and basketball-related activities, they will soon come to know. The NBA announced today that Jokic will be replacing Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge to take place this weekend during the All-Star festivities in New Orleans. Jokic is already slated to play in the Rising Stars Challenge alongside teammates Emmanuel Mudiay and Jamal Murray.

Embiid is currently sidelined with a significant knee injury but has been impressive in his limited playing time this season. Jokic, on the other hand, has shown no signs whatsoever of a sophomore slump as he has posted two triple-doubles in the past seven games and scored a career high 40 points in that stretch.

The Taco Bell Skills Challenge is a three-round, obstacle-course competition that tests dribbling, passing, agility and three-point-shooting skills. Jokic will face off in the competition against Devin Booker, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Gordon Hayward, Kristaps Porzingis, Isaiah Thomas and John Wall.

Interestingly, this is just the second time in the event’s 15 year history that multiple frontcourt players will compete.

Not only is Jokic’s selection deserving based on his improved play this year but he will go into the challenge with a realistic chance to win it. Despite his lack of athleticism, Jokic is one of the most skilled players in the league in almost all of the activities.

This is a huge opportunity for the Joker to show off a bit and to give the Nuggets good exposure to the national media. He faces some stiff and athletic competition, but if there’s anyone who can shock the world in this type of competition it would be him. No doubt, this will be one of the highlights of All-Star Weekend.

The Skills Challenge will broadcast on TNT at 5:30 PM MST on Saturday night. Bring home the trophy, Joker!