Why the NBA Should be Afraid of Nikola Jokic
When Nikola Jokic was drafted, no one predicted he would have the impact that he does on today’s NBA. For a guy who looked a little overweight and the furthest thing from an NBA star, it is hard to blame those people. However, as we know, the Denver Nuggets lucked out and got the steal of the decade. With their unorthodox star big man leading the way, they are destined for a title soon. The reason stems from the Joker’s continued improvement year after year. Here is why the NBA should be afraid of the Denver Nuggets and Nikola Jokic.
Nikola Jokic is Continuing to Evolve
Nikola Jokic – The Star the League Has Never Seen
There has never been a star like Jokic. Not one. We live during a time where the NBA is evolving at a rapid pace. As a result, different play styles are experimented with and utilized more efficiently. We have seen the emergence of small ball in this era and it has yielded both positive and negative results. Now, we are seeing the Denver Nuggets use Jokic as a point center. How many other teams use their center of all people to bring the ball up the floor?!
Jamal Murray is more of a combo guard for the Nuggets. However, that works with the offensive scheme the Nuggets run with Jokic as the primary playmaker. It allows guys like Murray and Will Barton to get creative with their scoring making life extremely difficult on the opposing defenses. With Jokic’s vision, he is a threat each time. He can either find the open man or get crafty and score. Jokic is one of the most deceptive scorers in the league. After all, Jokic has the most game-winners in the past two seasons. With how crafty Jokic is and the Nuggets’ offensive scheme, the Nuggets are going to continue to evolve and make a run for a title very soon. The star leading the way will be Nikola Jokic.
The Joker’s Numbers
Each season, Jokic improves in some facet. He had an impressive rookie campaign which netted him a spot on the All-Rookie Team. From his rookie season to his sophomore year, Jokic went from averages of 10 points, seven rebounds, and 2.4 assists to 16.7 points, 4.9 assists, and 9.8 rebounds per game. We have not even gotten into his numbers for this season. Numbers consisting of a career-high 20.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game (15th in the league for assists this season). Not to mention, he is also tallying an offensive rating of 119 to go along with a box plus/minus of 7.6.
Jokic is also improving on the defensive end of the floor as well. This season, he has surprisingly held his own against some notable names. Against Joel Embiid, he has held him to 13 points in two different games on 35.7% shooting from the field. Against LaMarcus Aldridge, he only gave up nine points while Aldridge shot 36.4% while defended by Jokic. Finally, he has only given up 12 points against Deandre Ayton with Ayton shooting 46.2%. Jokic is also tallying his third-lowest defensive rating of 106. Jokic is also averaging his second-best defensive win-share of 3.2. With all of this in mind, Jokic is just going to get better. With this in mind, the league better be on notice.
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