One of the biggest disappointments of this season are the Denver Nuggets, and you don’t have to be a genius to know why. With a lineup of Nikola Jokić, Jamal Murray, and Michael Porter Jr. with the addition of Facundo Campazzo – guys who can’t defend a chair – you’re in for some heavy pounding. The Nuggets rank 28h in the NBA in Defensive Rating with no improvements in sight. Still, that isn’t stopping Jokić from putting up significant numbers, which are ridiculous even in today’s stat-padding league.
Jokić averages 24,1 points, 11,4 rebounds, and 11,9 rebounds per game at the start of the season. With a total of 45 triple-doubles in his career, he is an all-time leader in Nuggets history. If he keeps dishing out this kind of numbers, he could pass James Harden (46), Larry Bird (59), and Wilt Chamberlain (78) in the near future. Probably even this season. That means he could end up being sixth on the triple-double all-time list behind LeBron James (95), Jason Kidd (107), Magic Johnson (138), Russell Westbrook (150), and Oscar Robertson (181).
Nikola is also en route to recording his best offensive season; he averaged more than 20 points only once in his career: in 2018/2019, he recorded 20.1 points per game.
The Joker indeed has flaws in his game. Defensively, as said before, he s not that good and can’t match-up with more athletic bigs. One thing he could do better is taking care of the ball. In this season, Nikola averages 5.1 turnovers per game, most in his NBA career. Only Devin Booker loses the ball more. However, if you’re much involved in your team’s game, it’s logical to make more mistakes. His Assist to Turnover Ratio (2.31) isn’t that bad after all.
Things that Jokić does are historical. To have that kind of numbers as a center is almost unmatched. And the Nuggets will surely profit from his performances. For now, their fans can only applaud one of the most original players the NBA has seen because their defense needs some tuning.