Nikola Jokic, Avenger
Remember when Captain America wielded Thor's hammer?
BY DAVID THORPE
It was the last day of November, 2019. The Denver Nuggets were on a roll. They had won six straight and 10 of their last 11. Late in the fourth quarter, Nuggets center Nikola Jokic posted up Sacramento’s Richaun Holmes on the left block. A Jokic score would put the Nuggets up nine points with 3:30 left. He made a quick inside pivot attack that was easily defended. Then he settled into a then-typical Jokic move: “bump my man and loft a hook from the middle.” It’s fine, but hardly terrifying. And in this case: short. On the local Nuggets broadcast, there was a hint of exasperation as someone noted “he missed another one.” The Kings outscored Denver 10-3 in the final minutes and won in overtime. Jokic’s meager seven points against the defenseless Kings marked three consecutive games in single digits.
That was just before Nikola Jokic turned into a superhero.