Forty-eight hours after a legendary triple-double against the Hornets, and winning the Player of the Week trophy, Nikola Jokic gave a layer tonight against the Grizzlies, in the shock of the Western conference. The numbers are less impressive, but the performance is just as rare: 13 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists (so some great ones!). It’s his 6th triple-double of the season, his 82nd career, and only Larry Bird and Magic Johnson had already finished a match with the number « 13 » in each column.
Jokic even went even further since he finished with a +/- of… +13! Something to amuse his coach. “He should go somewhere and bet on 13” launches Mike Malone, while Jokic finds it hard to believe that it is already his 82nd career triple-double.
« I always say that one pass makes two people happy »
« I can’t say that it doesn’t represent anything because I would never have dreamed of achieving this » he answers on TNT. » I never forced myself to do this, I was never a stat hunter… I don’t want to underestimate it because it’s an honor, and that’s good. »
Unsurprisingly, what Jokic loves above all else is selflessness. Here is what he answers when Charles Barkley asks him what makes you happiest on the pitch. « To be honest, when everyone is passing each other, that’s the beauty of the game… When everyone is passing, when everyone is touching the ball… I always say that a pass makes two people happy. »
Last night, without Jamal Murray or Michael Porter Jr, the Nuggets limited the Grizzlies to 91 points, and this victory allows them to take control of the Western Conference. In a very open conference, can this be Denver’s year?
« Tonight, our defense was amazing, and we were aggressive from the start, » replied Jokic. « We had a little less good in the 3rd quarter, and I think we conceded 30 points, but overall, we defended very well and I think that’s the key for us, to go far in the playoffs. »