Sometimes, I forget how lucky I am to watch Nikola Jokić play basketball.
It’s easy to take the big Serbian MVP frontrunner for granted when he makes the game look so simple. Feed him the ball in the post and he will score versus single coverage or find the open shooter if doubled. Give him the ball on the short roll and he will hit the floater more frequently than any other big man. Give him an inch of space on a passing window and he will thread the needle. Give him an inch of space on the baseline and he will spin that direction for a dunk.
Friday night’s win over the San Antonio Spurs was more of the same for Jokić and the Denver Nuggets. 26 points, 14 assists, and 13 rebounds highlighted the incredible production from the dominant point center, and he showcased his entire array of skills in besting the Spurs for the second time in three days without the help of star running mate Jamal Murray. His efficiency (only 9-of-17 from the field, committing six turnovers) was uncharacteristically low, but he scored or assisted on 14 of the final 21 points of the quarter, with five of the other seven coming on free throws for teammates. His production down the stretch was of paramount importance as the Spurs were shooting well in the fourth quarter and coming back with a vengeance. Jokić kept the lead intact which is exactly what an MVP is asked to do.
Check out his highlights here!