Nikola Jokic has been balling this season, averaging 25.9 points, 13.7 rebounds and 7.9 assists. The centre put up monster numbers today against the Nets (27/10/12) and became one of two players to put up a 25 point triple-double on 80% field goal percentage along with Wilt ‘the Stilt’ Chamberlain.
A lot of people said that Jokic won the MVP by default because of the numerous injuries in the league but the big man has been proving everyone wrong by putting up similar if not better numbers this season. One of his best games was against the clippers when he put up a 49,10 and 14 triple-double. In addition, he also had 3 steals and a block in the game, impacting the game on both sides of the court. With Jamal Murray being out for almost 2 seasons now, Jokic has had to carry the entire weight of the nuggets on his shoulders. Despite his great efforts in keeping the team competitive, the nuggets are struggling to hold 6th place in the west with the Timberwolves, Clippers and Lakers on their heels.
With all that the big man is doing, he still hasn’t been getting the praise that he should be getting for carrying his team. Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said Jokic was the most disrespected MVP ever. Can’t say he is wrong but I believe numbers have to contribute to winning basketball games and right now that is something the Nuggets are struggling to do. A lot of it is due to the injuries the team has been hit with but when it comes to the MVP conversation what you are overcoming isn’t taken into consideration but whether you have overcome those difficulties to put your team in a position to win. Jokic has contributed in every way possible but it isn’t enough for the nuggets to be a dangerous team in the west. It is time for the players around him to step up and help the team win games. It is up to them to decide whether they want their leader and superstar to be in the MVP conversation or to be remembered as the most disrespected MVP in the NBA’s 75-year history.