DENVER — He won’t get the credit or acknowledgment that he deserves nationally. He’ll rarely show up on SportsCenter’s Top 10 highlight reel at the end of the night because of where he plays. But Denver Nuggets star center Nikola Jokic is one of the league’s premier offensive talents and players. He’s playing the best basketball of his career, and he just might carry Denver to a playoff appearance that was inconceivable just one week ago.
Jokic’s latest masterpiece ended with him sitting at the end of the Nuggets’ bench as time expired, joking and conversing with fans who paid top dollar to see the Joker’s latest act. Denver outlasted the Indiana Pacers 107-104 as Jokic turned in his second-straight game with at least 30 points. The Nuggets collected their third-straight win and moved to within a half-game of the New Orleans Pelicans for the West’s last playoff spot with just four regular-season games remaining.
“He won’t get any recognition at the end of the season, but what he does every single night and how efficiently he does it, there are not many players that do that,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “Obviously, he’s Nikola Jokic, we’re Denver, so nobody’s going to talk about it. He’s an incredible player, and we ask him to do so much for this team as a third-year player trying to carry this team, and he doesn’t bitch. He doesn’t groan. He accepts it. He embraces it, and he goes out and does it every night at a very high level.”