The Denver Nuggets just advanced to the second round of the 2021 playoffs behind an incredible effort from the Most Valuable Player.
Nikola Jokić continues to amaze whenever he’s on the floor, but at this point, there was never anything surprising about Jokić delivering in Game 6 tonight. He is a certified, stone cold killer in the playoffs, and the Portland Trail Blazers experienced that firsthand.
Jokić dropped an efficient 36 points on 13-of-22 from the field, 2-of-4 from three, and 8-of-8 from the free throw line, the majority of which came against old pal Jusuf Nurkić. The Bosnian Blazers center had done a good job against Jokić for much of the series, but tonight appeared to be too much for Nurkić, who struggled to stay out of foul trouble once again and couldn’t keep up with the flurry of moves Jokić utilized to score all over the floor. Joker added eight rebounds and six assists to the final total for good measure, but the efficient scoring was what really did in the Blazers, who consistently guarded him 1-on-1 and paid the price for it.
This is just who Nikola Jokić is though. He was the MVP for a reason, and against a bad Blazers defense held together by Nurkić and Robert Covington, Jokić consistently hit those two with body blows for the first five games of the series before throwing a haymaker in Game 6. Ultimately, Jokić finished this series averaging 33.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists on 53/42/92 shooting splits, showing just how dominant he could be.
Watch the highlights of Jokić taking control of the series and closing out the Blazers in their own building. May or may not be NSFW.