Another day, another milestone for Denver Nuggets superstar big man, Nikola Jokic. Tonight on Inside the NBA, the NBA All-Star starters were announced and Jokic will start in the All-Star Game for a second consecutive season. This will be Jokic’s fourth straight All-Star appearance with his first coming back in 2018-19.
Jokic was voted in by the fans for a second straight year and only lost to LeBron James in Western Conference frontcourt voting. As one of the leading vote getters, James will get to be a captain in the All-Star game once again. Here is what the starting lineups look like for the Western and Eastern Conference:
Western Conference: Ja Morant, Steph Curry, Andrew Wiggins, James, and Jokic
Eastern: Trae Young, DeMar DeRozan, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Joel Embiid (who might not be able to dodge Jokic from this game so hopefully we get to see that matchup in the All-Star Game).
It has already been another historic season for Jokic, which is tough to fathom after what kind of year he put together last season. Jokic continues to find ways to get better and if he keeps up his current pace there is no doubt he should bring home his second consecutive MVP award.
Just last week, Jokic brought home Western Conference Player of the Week honors for the 10th time in his career. This came after a three-game performance in which Jokic averaged 36.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 10 assists per game. It was highlighted by a 49 point, 14 rebound, and 10 assist outburst that lead the Nuggets to a come from behind victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Nikola Jokic is the only player in NBA history to record 5,000 rebounds & 3,000 assist within his first 500 career games pic.twitter.com/YwrTTsEmSd— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 26, 2022
A pretty remarkable stat that Jokic was able to achieve that puts him next to some elite company, himself. On the season, Jokic is now averaging 26.2 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 7.6 assists through 42 games. Jokic’s point and assist numbers are eerily similar from his MVP season last year, but he is averaging a career-best with his 13.8 rebounds per game. His previous best was 10.8 boards per season, which he’s done twice in his career.
Not only is Jokic making an impact on the offensive end of the floor, but his defense continues to get better as well. Jokic has played like an All-NBA caliber defender this season and just last night he received defensive player of the game in the Nuggets victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
This team is too fun— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) January 27, 2022
Inside the locker room post win pic.twitter.com/sfrDgm4lPt
The Nuggets have won eight out of their last 11 games and Jokic’s MVP caliber play is a big reason why. Hopefully Denver can continue to stack wins before the All-Star break, but even then their superstar big man won’t be getting any rest as he will have to head to Cleveland.
All-Star weekend is slated for February 18-20 and will conclude on February 20th with the All-Star Game at 6PM MST at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio.