Nikola Jokic is a bit of an enigma. He prefers to pass - as he has said before, scoring makes one person happy while passing makes two people happy - but when he wants to he can absolutely fill the basket up. The Denver Nuggets might have lost to the Brooklyn Nets, but one game after Jokic took only a last second shot in a loss to the Grizzlies, he poured in 37 points and snagged 21 rebounds - an absolute clinic in how to dominate the paint and the glass. If Jamal Murray and Gary Harris both hadn’t had sub-par nights together (combining to go 6-for-25 from the field) Jokic might have had more than 3 assists, but on those nights when shots aren’t falling Denver needs its big man to go ham, and Jokic did.
He is Denver’s most efficient scorer and he can overwhelm even talented defenders, and his ability to consistently get to the line only helps those scoring numbers when he decides to be aggressive. Listen to the Nets announcers remark on the bullying job Jokic was doing inside. When teams have to worry about stopping Jokic as a scorer his passing will always be there. Hopefully this was the start of Denver getting out of its offensive doldrums and returning to the scoring machine we expect them to be.
As the schedule gets tougher, they’ll need the core playing its best - and that starts with Jokic. Enjoy the highlights below!