Nikola Jokic breaks Nuggets record for points on Christmas Day


Nikola Jokic breaks Nuggets record for points on Christmas Day

Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic is having another spectacular year. Averaging 25/11/9 (never seen before) on an absurd 62% from the field, The Joker has powered the Nuggets to the #1 seed in the West so far. Denver sits 1 game ahead of both The New Orleans Pelicans and the Memphis Grizzlies at 21-11.

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We’ve become used to Jokic stuffing the stat sheet over the years and today was no different. Just a cool 41-point, 15-rebound, 15-assist game against the 4th placed Phoenix Suns and breaking a franchise record in the process.

Jokic surpasses Dan Issel to now stand alone as the Denver Nugget with the single highest-scoring Christmas performance in franchise history. Issel’s record was 37 and the Serbian reached and broke it with his 41 on the way to leading the Nuggets to a close 128-125 win over the Suns.

This amazing performance is another one in a strong run by Jokic that is strengthening his case for a third straight MVP. There will be detractors and voter fatigue as there was with Giannis in 2021. Their argument is better than “I’m not gonna vote for him because he’s already won 2 in a row.”

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Does Jokic deserve a third MVP?

Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic

Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and Larry Bird. What do they have in common? All of them are some of the greatest players in NBA history, but they are also the only players in league history to have won 3-straight MVPs. Not Kobe, not Shaq, not LeBron, and not even Jordan did something like that.

That is the historical significance of a third MVP for Nikola Jokic this season. He hasn’t achieved anything near what the aforementioned have done in their careers and for that reason alone, voters might not want to put him on the same pedestal as Wilt, Bill, and Larry. However, he might be the most deserving candidate.

The counting stats are ridiculous. To go along with that, he’s doing the thing again where he leads the NBA in almost every advanced statistic there is to measure player impact. Just as an example, when Jokic is on the court, the Nuggets have a net rating of +10.1 Vs. a net rating of -13.2 when he’s off the court. That +23.3 swing is easily the biggest in the league. He has the eye test, the traditional stats, and the advanced metrics in his favor, so why shouldn’t Nikola Jokic win his third straight MVP?

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