Nikola Jokic is well on the way to leading the Denver Nuggets to their first NBA Finals appearance. With two more wins in the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, he would get them into the finals for the first time and continue building his case as the best basketball player on the planet.
Jokic is having a historically great postseason. If he notches one more triple-double — it’s very safe to assume that he will — he surpasses the record for the most triple-doubles by a single player in NBA playoff history. In the second round against the Phoenix Suns, he put up a stat line never seen in the playoffs by a center. His unreal first quarter in the conference finals hasn’t been seen in decades. Now, he has recorded stats over a two-game sample that haven’t been done before.
According to the NBA’s stat archives, no player in league history has ever tallied over 55 points, 35 rebounds and 20 assists in a two-game stretch in the playoffs…until now. In perhaps the biggest series in Nuggets history, Nikola Jokic (whose totals in each stat are 57, 38 and 26, respectively) is doing something we have never seen before. And it’s coming against one of the tougher defensive squads the league has to offer. That’s superstar stuff – and then some.
Despite the Lakers’ strong attempts to come back late in those games, the Nuggets have held on to win in regulation twice. Jamal Murray’s fourth-quarter heater in Game 2 played a big part in preventing that but there’s no question that Jokic’s insane dominance against LA’s defense has driven Denver to success. His unreal shooting touch and ability to drop a dime to anyone who’s even slightly open has left the Lakers looking for answers.
In 13 playoff games, Jokic is averaging 30.4 points, 13.8 rebounds and 10.2 assists per game while shooting 54.9 percent from the field. Jokic may have missed out on winning a third straight regular-season MVP but he is on his way to winning the Western Conference Finals MVP award. As long as the Nuggets take care of business against the Lakers, he will be on his way to potentially even more hardware.
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