Indulge me for a moment as I take a victory lap. After listening to pundits and skeptics for months about how the league has “figured out Nikola Jokic” or “scouted him and learned how to shut him down,” I finally get to sit here and tell all of you, I TOLD YOU SO!!! After months of hearing about how he’s not as good as the numbers suggest, how he’s over rated, and how he’s not a star player, I finally get the last laugh.
Nikola Jokic is a very special player and it’s becoming more and more obvious as time goes by. He’s not some gimmick, he’s not a flash in the pan, he’s not over rated. Jokic is a basketball savant, unlike anything the game of basketball has ever seen.
Tonight in Milwaukee, Jokic broke a 50-year old NBA record for fastest triple-double. It took just 14 minutes and 33 seconds to get there. You read that correctly, it took Jokic less than a half of basketball to crack the triple-double mark, entering the intermission with 16 points, 11 rebounds, 12 assists.
In the second half, Jokic kept piling on the stats, finishing with one of the most absurd stat-line’s in NBA history: 30 points, 15 rebounds, 17 assists! He became just the 5th player in NBA history to record at least 30 points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists in a single game. The others to do it are James Harden, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, and Oscar Robertson. That’s good company.
Nikola Jokic had 30 points, 15 rebounds and 17 assists tonight.— StatMuse (@statmuse) February 16, 2018
No other center has recorded that stat line in the last 30 seasons. The closest stat line a center had was 29-13-14... That center was Nikola Jokic. pic.twitter.com/kCNbcmNV0m
This was the second straight triple-double for Jokic and the 4th in his last 12 games. That 12-game mark isn’t a random qualifier either. On January 21st, following a disappointing home loss to the Phoenix Suns, Nuggets head coach Michael Malone declared that the Nuggets were going to make an effort to get back to last year’s style of play. Fewer structured play calls and more putting the ball in Jokic’s hands and letting the rest of the Nuggets play off of him.
Since then, Jokic has gone off. Over that stretch he’s averaging 19.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 8.8 assists. Oh, and the Nuggets are 9-3 in that stretch with wins against the Bucks, Spurs, Thunder, and Trail Blazers. All hail Jokic, one of the most unique players to ever lace em up and a guy who is still six years away from his prime. Check out the highlights below.