PHOENIX – Nikola Jokic desires to be an NBA All-Star this season, but when it’s not within the playing cards, the Joker isn’t going to sweat it.
“If it doesn’t occur I’m not gonna die,” Jokic mentioned from shootaround in Phoenix Saturday morning. “If it occurs it’ll be actually cool.”
Jokic’s All-Star destiny will in the end lie with NBA coaches, who decide the reserves for subsequent month’s exhibition in Charlotte. However Jokic, who’s averaging 25.eight factors, 12.eight rebounds and eight.5 assists all through six video games in January, has maintained a even handed perspective on his candidacy.
“Sure, I need to be an All-Star as a result of I simply need to be in these group of fellows,” Jokic mentioned. “It’s not one thing that I’m gonna play this season to be an All-Star.”
The primary-place Nuggets have gained seven of their final eight video games getting into Saturday’s contest towards the Suns, and that’s coincided with three triple-doubles from Jokic. Now as much as 5 on the season and 21 for his profession, Jokic has been requested about reaching sure statistical benchmarks already attained by NBA luminaries like Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
“Let’s wait just a bit extra years to get in contrast with these guys,” Jokic mentioned. “I feel these guys are the legends. They’re by no means going to be forgotten within the NBA. Let’s wait just a little bit extra years.”
Nikola Jokić is UNBELIEVABLE and that is all we have now to say about that. pic.twitter.com/UrR17NXogH
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) January 11, 2019
Two days after it occurred Jokic was nonetheless being requested about his one-handed fullcourt outlet go to Jamal Murray towards the Clippers. He has watched the replay, however he’s nonetheless not fairly positive how the play occurred so seamlessly.
“Is it some connection? I simply knew he’s gonna be. … I don’t know the way,” Jokic mentioned. “I can not clarify it. In my thoughts, he was there. After I look it up, he was there, so I simply threw the ball.”
Jokic has turn out to be the offensive fulcrum of the Nuggets, a point-center equally content material banging within the paint or main a transition run out. Nuggets coach Michael Malone has an attention-grabbing problem in making an attempt to hone Jokic’s passing abilities whereas nonetheless giving him the freedom to improvise. Jokic isn’t so refined that he doesn’t often “hit the popcorn girl a couple of occasions,” as Malone mentioned, however his biggest reward may be in his means to anticipate.
“With all nice gamers, you must give him that leeway and provides him that freedom,” Malone mentioned. “If I attempt to bottle that up, I’d be doing him a disservice.”