Nikola Jokic: Potential Pros and Cons of his Weight Loss
While the NBA world has been revving up for the league to return on July 31, rumors have been swirling about Denver Nuggets’ superstar, Nikola Jokic. There had been reports of the Serbian star looking like a brand new man and as Nuggets Vice President of Basketball Operations, Tim Connelly, put it “He has abs.” The fire then spewed, even more, when Jokic’s co-star on the team, point guard Jamal Murray, also confirmed that the rumors were true. Now, we know for sure.
A recent picture of Jokic has surfaced of the center and he looks like he has slimmed down at least 50 pounds. One of the knocks on Jokic has always been his weight. However, could this much weight loss actually hurt the Joker’s game and the Nuggets’ potential as a whole? Or, will it increase their odds at the title for this season? Let’s delve into the potential pros and cons.
Nikola Jokic: His Transformation
As every avid NBA fan knows, Nikola Jokic is a top-three center in the league, and it is easy to argue that he is the best one right now. With that, comes the physicality that is needed to battle down in the paint, even in today’s three-point shooting oriented league. Many are wondering if the Joker will still be able to hold his own down low with his new frame. It is a warranted question considering the playoffs will see some of the most physical big men.
Not having that extra 50 pounds could possibly be hard to overcome against the likes of Steven Adams or even Dwight Howard. Especially considering the fact that Denver has struggled against the length of the Los Angeles Lakers’ frontcourt, consisting of Dwight Howard, Anthony Davis, and JaVale McGee this season. A team that is a likely opponent the Nuggets could meet in the postseason. Bear in mind that the Denver Nuggets are currently in the third seed in the Western Conference behind the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. However, wherever there are potential cons, there are also possible pros as well.
Believe it or not, there was a time where Jokic was skinny during his career. That would be his rookie season. Looking at highlights of his rookie year, he looked extremely agile and very well-conditioned. During that particular campaign, the Joker would make the All-Rookie Team and come away with numbers of 10.0 points, 7.0 total rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game while shooting an effective field goal percentage of 53.5 percent. As we know, his numbers have gotten better year after year, and that was when he was considered “hefty.”
Now, imagine how a slimmer Joker will impact this already promising Nuggets squad. He will be able to stretch the defense even more now considering he is already a career 33.8 three-point percent shooter. Not to mention, he will be able to beat defenders off the dribble and it will open up the floor where the paint will not be as clogged. As a result, Denver’s other players such as Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, and Will Barton are going to get even more open looks. That right there should terrify the rest of the league considering Denver has one of the best-supporting casts in the whole NBA. The Nuggets may have to go through the Clippers and Lakers to get to the NBA Finals, but Denver now has their own ace up their sleeve.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images