WATCH: Nikola Jokic Channels Kobe Bryant with Signature Fade Away Against Lakers’ Anthony Davis

Published 02/05/2021, 1:42 AM EST
Jan 14, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) controls the ball as Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman (33) guards in the fourth quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports


Nikola Jokic has been having a fantastic season so far. The Nuggets’ big man has been the best player for the team by some distance. Despite the team not playing up to their highest potential, Jokic has been a star, consistently putting on strong performances. And now, he gave the Lakers a taste of their own medicine.

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Jokic Channels ‘Black Mamba’

Against LA, he channeled Lakers‘ legend Kobe Bryant with his signature fadeaway shot against Anthony Davis. During Kobe’s time in the NBA, he made the fadeaway shot his own.

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For a man of Jokic’s size, he made the shot look extremely smooth as if Kobe himself were taking it. Making the shot over AD, who is one of the best defenders in the NBA, is a major accomplishment.

Jokic has started the season quite strongly. So far, the Serb has averaged close to a triple-double through the season with 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists. However, his numbers against the Lakers were nothing to be impressed by.

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Despite the incredible shot he made, he finished with only 9 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists for the game, marking the first time this season that he failed to have double digits in any statistical category.

Nikola Jokic is on a roll this season

Jokic has been on a roll for the past few years. Despite being a late second-round pick in 2014, Jokic has risen to All-Star status over the past few years.

Last year, he was crucial in Denver Nuggets’ run to the Western Conference Finals. He led the Nuggets to overturn 3-1 deficits against the Utah Jazz and then-favorites LA Clippers. However, he couldn’t help them overcome the Lakers.

Dec 28, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) shoots over Houston Rockets forward Christian Wood (35) in the first quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

This season, Jokic is a major contender to be an All-Star. In fact, fan voting suggests that he could be an All-Star starter for the first time in his career.

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Given how well Jokic has played, this comes as no surprise. Jokic has had five-triple doubles this season, only one behind league leader Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks.

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Can Jokic lead the Nuggets back to the playoffs this season? If he continues to play the way he has this year, the Nuggets will feel confident about their chances.

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However, his performance against the Lakers will be a cause for concern, as Anthony Davis was able to shut him down with relative ease.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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