Nuggets center is no Jokic

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is quickly making his name known around the NBA, signified by his Western Conference Player of the Week award on Nov. 13.

Jokic

Denver Nuggets forward Nikola Jokic, front, of Serbia, picks up a loose ball as Phoenix Suns center Tyson Chandler, back left, and forward Marquese Chriss pursue in the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Denver. Photo courtesy of Denver Post (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Jokic began the week by dropping a career-high 41 points against the Brooklyn Nets to go along with 12 rebounds,  ve assists, two steals and two blocks. He finished the week posting consecutive double-doubles as well, averaging 22.7 points and just over 13 rebounds in the three games played from Nov. 6-12. In reward for his efforts, Jokic became the 17th Denver Nugget to take home Player of the Week honors and the first since Ty Lawson won the award in March 2013.

The 22-year-old, 6-foot-10- inch Serbian is averaging 17.2 points and 12 rebounds per game, while shooting 42.6 percent from the 3-point line in the early part of 2017-18 season.

Jokic went from an awkward big man to one of the best players at his position in the league in a short time period. He is only in his third season and is part of a new era of larger players who can do it all,  lling up the box score on a nightly basis. He is known for his vision and imagination on the court as he makes plays that seem impossible, and a style of play that coined him the nickname “the Joker,” relevant for both his tricks on the court and his personality off the court.

His offensive outbreak last season brought the Nuggets back to relevancy, only missing the playoffs by one game. In his second NBA season, Jokic finished the year with six triple doubles, only trailing Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Lebron James in that category.

In the beginning of the second half of the 2016-17 season, the Nuggets began to run their offense through Jokic and they never looked back. He was inserted as a full-time starter on Dec. 15, 2016. From that point on, the Nuggets had the best offense in the league, averaging 113.3 points per 100 possessions during their last 57 games.

Jokic is the most prominent player the Nuggets have had since Carmelo Anthony left the team in 2011. The hope is that with the young talent they are building around him, they will be able to compete with the elite teams in the league in the foreseeable future. Fans are hopeful that his emergence will attract more big names to Denver in the same vein as the signing of All-Star power forward Paul Millsap.

The success of the Nuggets franchise is in the young star’s hands, and he looks primed to the play the part.

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