Nikola Jokic impacts the Denver Nuggets in such a unique, historic way

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) greets fans after the game against the Charlotte Hornets Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) greets fans after the game against the Charlotte Hornets Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Nikola Jokic impacts the Denver Nuggets on an entirely different and historic level. 

I finally got the opportunity to stay up late at night and watch the Memphis Grizzlies take on the Denver Nuggets. I was excited about watching this game because you never know what Ja Morant is going to do. If you blink or even bat an eye you just might miss a highlight reel dunk or one of his spectacular no-look passes to one of his teammates.

But I was even more excited to see the 2-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic do his thing as well. Jokic, the smooth operator who makes the Nuggets go, ended up making history as he became the only other player not named Larry Bird or Magic Johnson to finish a game with at least 13 points, 13 rebounds, and 13 assists.

It’s an amazing feat anytime a player records a triple-double but one can actually see and observe how Jokic affects the game with his passing, shot selection, and how he sets and utilizes screens to the way he engages his teammates.

To look back at how long it’s been since any player has accomplished this feat is astonishing and the fact that a center did it just shows how much the game has evolved. It’s truly positionless basketball and Jokic has taken full advantage.

Nikola Jokic has re-entered the NBA MVP race

Their recent win over the Grizzlies not only catapulted them into the top spot in the West but also puts Jokic back in the mix with the top candidates for MVP as he is averaging 24.7 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 9.2 assists per game and is a triple-double threat every time he plays which is unprecedented for a player at his position.

There is not one player on any NBA roster that means more to their team than Jokic with all due respect to Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokounmpo. If you take those players away from their current teams it would make a huge difference but those teams would still be competitive. I don’t believe the same could be said if Jokic ever left the Nuggets.

It’s obvious why he was awarded the MVP in back-to-back seasons. He has better court vision than the majority of the starting point guards in the league and understands the importance of teamwork. Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. both sat out against the Grizzlies but Jokic still was able to get his team on the same page as the offense flowed effectively and efficiently. Jokic is not the flashiest player but he’s fundamentally sound and plays the game the right way.

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Jokic plays at his own pace and even though he lacks athleticism he makes up for it with his high IQ. He also has deceptive moves and doesn’t have to dominate the ball to have an impact on the game. Jokic’s influence on the Nuggets is evident and he is the difference between them being a good team or ascending to a championship contender.