DENVER — Nikola Jokic is two wins away from his and the Denver Nuggets’ first-ever NBA title, and the two-time MVP is averaging 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists per game in his breakout postseason.
While it is a coming out party for Jokic, it is also one of the most dominant runs in NBA postseason history, the type of performance that changes the dynamic of the league.
In a Friday edition of the Locked On NBA podcast, hosts Wes Goldberg and Adam Mares broke down Jokic’s postseason and where he now stacks up among NBA superstars.
“He beat LeBron James, he beat Kevin Durant, and now he’s gotta beat Erik Spoelstra and Jimmy Butler,” Goldberg said. “These are kind of teams, entities, people who have for better or worse dominated this past era.”
After early playoff exits the past two years with co-stars Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. sidelined due to injury, Jokic is making good on the promise of his MVP seasons. His play style is unorthodox, but his dominance is undeniable.
“It’s never looked like this,” Mares said. “We’ve seen some great playoff runs, and it’s never looked quite the way it does right now.”
The Nuggets have won every series in six games or fewer, and Jokic routinely plays 40-plus minutes and closes games out with his best play coming in the fourth quarter.
“Jokic doesn’t do it in one shot,” Goldberg explained. “He just sort of slowly drains the life out of you, and to me, it’s such an interesting way to watch basketball and appreciate a superstar.”
With all that said, Jokic averaging a triple-double over an entire postseason and winning a championship would make it difficult to argue anyone else is the best basketball player in the world.
“Everybody’s reluctant to say what should be obvious,” Mares said. “Of course he’s the best player.”