Nikola Jokic Is a Walking Triple-Double

The reigning NBA champ is leading the league in points, rebounds and assists

Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets.
Nikola Jokic is having another great season for the Denver Nuggets.
Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty

Though he has yet to reach true superstar status in the U.S. despite winning the NBA title and Finals MVP, Nikola Jokic is doing things on the basketball court that have rarely been seen before. Jokic, who won back-to-back MVPs before finishing as the runner-up to Joel Embiid for the award last season, notched his NBA-leading eighth triple-double of the season on Saturday night and is now leading the league in total points (579), rebounds (255) and assists (196).

Perhaps that should be no surprise as Jokic was the first player in NBA history to lead the entire postseason in total points (600), total rebounds (269) and total assists (186) when he led the Denver Nuggets to the franchise’s first-ever championship last season. The first player selected outside of the top 15 (41st overall) to win both Finals MVP and regular-season MVP, Jokic also leads the league in Efficiency, ahead of Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luka Doncic.

Perhaps also unsurprisingly, those four players are at the top of the list to win this season’s MVP, behind the clear favorite: Jokic.

Despite Winning Nothing, Jaylen Brown Gets Paid Like an All-Time Great
Brown’s five-year, $304 million supermax extension is the richest contract in NBA history

“The reigning Finals MVP and two-time MVP might actually be better this season. He’s averaging career highs in points and rebounds, his second-highest assists mark, and still shooting 60% eFG (57% from the field, 32% from 3). The Nuggets are outscoring opponents by 11.3 points per 100 possessions with him on the court,” per The Action Network. “Jokic answered every question about him being a worthy three-time winner with a 16-4 dominant playoff run, outplaying Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, sweeping LeBron James, humiliating Anthony Davis, and outclassing Jimmy Butler. He’s widely and nearly unanimously considered the best player in the world for a team that looks like it will easy win more than 50 games.”

Through approximately a quarter of the season (20 games), Jokic is averaging 28.9 points, 12.8 rebounds and 9.8 assists per game while shooting 56.8% from the field and 30.1% from the three-point range. Through 21 games, the Nuggets have gone undefeated at home (9-0) and are 14-7 overall, putting them in third place in the Western Conference. The Nuggets have no shot at winning the NBA’s In-Season Tournament, which continues tonight, as they have already been eliminated, but Denver is one of the favorites to win the championship at +425. Only the Celtics (+370) have better odds to win it all.

What the Celtics don’t have is Jokic, who has shown no sign of slowing down this season despite Denver’s title run and all of the extra effort and time on the court that it required.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.