Nikola Jokic, the star center for the Denver Nuggets, will be selected to the 2018-19 All-Star game tonight when the reserves are announced on TNT, the Stiffs have learned. This will be the first selection to an All-Star game of Jokic’s career.
Jokic has carried a beaten and battered Nuggets roster to the second best record in the Western Conference and one of the best win profiles in the league. He’s averaging 20.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 7.7 assists on the season—if that holds up, Jokic will become just the fourth player in NBA history to put up marks like those across 82 games, joining Russell Westbrook, Oscar Robertson, and Wilt Chamberlain.
Nikola Jokic is averaging 20.1 pts, 10.3 rebs and 7.6 asts per game. Only three players in NBA history (Chamberlain, Robertson, Westbrook) have averaged 20+ pts, 10+ rebs and 7.5+ asts in a season. Jokic is expected to be named an All-Star for the first time tomorrow.— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) January 30, 2019
There was a small glimmer of hope that Jokic had done enough to be named a starter out of the West, but as the Stiffs reported a week ago, Paul George, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant edged him out in the frontcourt.
Jokic’s selection was inevitable. His team’s record and his monster play in the month of January have been enough to vault him into the fringes of the MVP discussion, and a breakdown of the All-Star voting revealed that Jokic has earned some respect from players across the league. Now, we’ll get to see just how highly captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo think of him when they begin drafting their teams next Thursday, February 7th, on national television.
Centers can look lost in the All-Star game, an offense-only contest that ultimately serves as a showcase for the league’s springiest wing players. But it’s too fun to wonder what Jokic might look like with the ball in his hands and a streaking Giannis calling for a lob.
Get your popcorn ready, folks. Big Honey’s playing under the bright lights this year.