Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is arguably the best player in the league today.
The two-time NBA MVP is also arguably the best center of all-time, as he displays time and time again. Although there have been other big men to dominate and those that are more defensively inclined, the offensive mastery that Jokic displays is unparalleled.
In fact, it’s that type of skill that’s allowed the Denver Nuggets to take a 3-2 lead over the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Semifinals following their blowout victory over the Suns in Game 5.
In the contest, Jokic recorded 29 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists, two blocks and one steal in 37.5 minutes.
Nikola Jokic puts up a triple-double as the @nuggets win Game 5 to secure a 3-2 lead!
DEN/PHX Game 6: Thurs. | 10pm/et on ESPN pic.twitter.com/hr9d2nEoUx
— NBA (@NBA) May 10, 2023
All while shooting 60.0 percent from the field, including 2-3 percent from 3-point range.
It was Jokic’s 10th playoff game with a triple-double, the most all-time with him passing Hall of Fame center Wilt Chamberlain. In the aftermath, Inside The NBA co-host Ernie Johnson congratulated Jokic on his accomplishment, leading to a humorous exchange between Jokic and Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal.
“Nice, thank you,” says Jokic as he responds to Johnson.
“Where is Shaq? Is Shaq on that list?” he adds slyly.
Ernie Johnson: “You passed Wilt Chamberlain tonight for most triple-doubles by a Center. Congrats on that!”
Nikola Jokic: “Nice, thank you. Is Shaq on that list?”
Shaq: “No, because I never passed Big Honey.”
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 10, 2023
Shaq, infamous for calling out or shouting out NBA big men as one of the most dominant centers that the league has ever seen, took the quip in stride.
“Nope,” Shaq answers. “Because I never passed, Big Honey.”
O’Neal was a better passer than he gives himself credit for. Nonetheless, 2.5 assists per game — which he averaged over the course of his career — pales in comparison to Jokic’s career average of 6.6 assists per game.
However, Wilt Chamberlain averaged 4.4 assists per game, routinely using his height and hand size to his advantage.
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