Nuggets power forward Nikola Jokic has been tasked with playing more historically great basketball following the latest Jamal Murray update. The Nuggets are hoping that Jokic’s recent stretch of play will trigger a career-defining run for the Serbian center.
Nikola Jokic is a Serbian professional basketball player who plays for the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association. He was born on May 4, 1996 and has been given the task of playing more historically great basketball following the latest Jamal Murray update.
I declared Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets as the early-season MVP earlier this week. Jokic’s on-off splits demonstrate the resounding influence he has on this Nuggets squad, in addition to his stellar individual averages (26.3 points/13.5 rebounds/7.5 assists).
Jokic is nearly single-handedly assisting the Nuggets in their quest to reclaim first place in the Western Conference. However, with the current news involving standout Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, Jokic will be expected to keep up his historically impressive pace.
Should he help the Nuggets traverse an increasingly tough route, the reigning NBA MVP might be in pace to win the award again.
Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic’s co-star, will be unavailable for the foreseeable future.
Jamal Murray is still “a ways away,” according to Michael Malone of @AltitudeSR.
He said that he does not want people to believe Murray would return in January or February.
The organization has gone to great efforts to avoid putting him under any strain. Murray’s comeback is yet to be determined.
December 21, 2021 — Mike Singer (@msinger)
The Nuggets have been without point guard Jamal Murray since April while he recovers from a torn ACL. His comeback is far from certain.
Murray is “a long way away,” according to Nuggets head coach Michael Malone, who added that the 24-year-old is unlikely to return in the next two months.
Although this schedule makes reasonable — an ACL injury may take up to a year to heal – there had previously been hope that Murray would return sooner than predicted. Instead, Nikola Jokic will have to make do as Denver’s lone star.
Murray and Jokic were an excellent teammate. Murray’s ability to score off the dribble and move without the ball relieved Jokic of the responsibility of being the facilitator for almost everyone on the team. In pick-and-roll sets, the two were unstoppable.
In the backcourt, rookie guard Bones Hyland has made an impression, but he isn’t nearly as inventive as Murray when it comes to creating space. Similarly, although Monte Morris has had a good season, he isn’t the kind of bucket-getter Murray is.
Denver needs Jokic to put together a streak of outstanding performances without its star point guard.
The Nuggets are reliant on Jokic.
On May 1, 2021, Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic watch the action from the bench during a game against the Los Angeles Clippers | Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Stephen Curry is a fantastic basketball player for the Golden State Warriors. Despite the absence of Kyrie Irving and an unimpressive James Harden, Kevin Durant has been a standout for the Brooklyn Nets.
However, take it seriously. Nikola Jokic is the Nuggets’ only source of offense.
The on-off margin for the Joker is presently +27.5. That is ludicrous. When he’s on the court, Denver scores 117.2 points per 100 possessions. When he sits, the Nuggets allow 118.4 points per possession. When Jokic is in the game, they are one of the most productive teams in NBA history, but when he isn’t, they are one of the most anemic teams ever.
On a nightly basis, it’s a lot to expect of Jokic to be that dominating on both ends. He’s still dragging Denver along.
The Nuggets have won six of their previous ten games and are the Western Conference’s No. 5 seed owing to some fortunate fortune. Despite the absence of Murray and Michael Porter Jr., who has been out since having back surgery at the end of November, they’ve maintained the course.
While the Nuggets are in the postseason hunt, it’s worth pondering whether Jokic can keep up his current pace into April. He’s playing less minutes than last season (32.6 vs. 34.6), but Malone may have no option but to give him more minutes if Denver’s all-reserve lineups continue to struggle.
The Joker, in essence, has no option. Aside from the chance of earning another NBA MVP award, his big shoulders carry the Nuggets’ postseason aspirations, at least until Jamal Murray recovers.
Will Murray be able to return in time to help the Nuggets?
After today, the Nuggets sit in fifth place in the Western Conference, with one of the league’s easier remaining schedules. Only 13 of Denver’s 29 games have been played at home. pic.twitter.com/TA4aiynIFF
December 21, 2021 — Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind)
Jamal Murray’s comeback is yet to be determined. He’ll be around mid-April if he recovers completely in a year. However, Jokic and the Nuggets might be out of gas by that point.
Fortunately, Denver may have already overcome its most crucial obstacle. The Nuggets have one of the easier remaining schedules in the NBA, with the bulk of their remaining games being played at home, where they are now 8-5. With The Joker at the helm, Denver may be able to stay afloat and maintain a respectable position until Murray is ready.
However, a depleted Nuggets team will ultimately rely on Jokic to continue putting up statistics befitting a reigning NBA MVP. It’ll be interesting to see whether he’s up to the task.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
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