Power ranking the six best plays from Nikola Jokic’s second triple-double of the season:
Freeze pass to Murray
Joker has this pass in his arsenal where he fakes a shot, usually around the free-throw line, to freeze the defense just long enough for a cutter to get into position along the baseline. Then, with the defense frozen and Jokic in the middle of his shooting motion, he drops a quick pass off right in stride for the easy layup or dunk. It’s unclear when Jokic sees the play unfolding. Does he spot Murray out of the corner of his eye before he ever catches the ball? Does he intend to shoot it but then changes his plan on the fly as Murray emerges along the baseline? Only Joker knows. Or maybe even he doesn’t really know or remember.
Block at the rim on Salah Mejri
Mejri and Jokic seem to dislike each other. They got chippy in their first meeting in Denver a few weeks back and continued their chippy play on Saturday. Here, Jokic was frustrated about a turnover on the play before and rather than take out his frustration by giving an intentional foul (as he’s been known to do), he put a little extra mustard on as he swats Mejri’s weak shot into oblivion.
That’s right. A game-winning jumper wasn’t even a top 3 play from Jokic on Saturday night.
The Sombor Shuffle
Joker first took this shot against Jusuf Nurkic and the Portland Trail Blazers back in their matchup in December. It almost looked like Jokic fell off balance so it was chalked up to an anomaly. Then he took it again against the Phoenix Suns. Almost the same spot on the floor, same form, same result. He took this shot again against the Mavericks and, just like the three times prior, he knocked it down. I asked him about it after the game and he said that he invented that shot back when he was coming back from his ankle injury. Shooting off his right like that allowed him to balance without putting pressure on his sore left foot. It’s one of those plays that makes you say, “only Jokic.”
Spin assist to Trey Lyles
If I’m being honest, this was my favorite play of the game. This one took vision, skill, timing, guts, and just enough showmanship to pull off. The next pass got top billing on the highlight reels but this was the one that impressed me the most. It was one of those plays where you realize just how much Jokic understands every angle on the court. That it came in the most important stretch of the game just makes it all the better.
What was your favorite play?
This poll is closed
The slap pass
Spin assist to Lyles
The Sombor Shuffle
Block on Mejri