‘Everybody Talking about Durants and Lebrons…’: Nikola Jokic Receives High Praise From Nuggets Teammate

Published 01/20/2021, 12:47 AM EST
Jan 5, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) dribbles up court against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports


The Denver Nuggets have had a surprisingly bad start to their 2020-21 campaign. Despite tonight’s win over the Thunder, they are still 7-7 currently. While the team has started slow, star Nikola Jokic has been brilliant so far.

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Tonight, the Serbian had 27 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists, while shooting 12-21 from the field. He has been their only consistent performer and has been crucial in their rise from being 1-4, to 7-7 now.

After tonight’s performance, teammate Monte Morris had the highest of praises for Jokic. He said“Like I told him two, three games ago after the game. I just said, ‘Everybody talking about the Durants and LeBrons, Giannises. We’re playing with a Hall of Famer right here.’ I just wanted him to know that.”

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Jokic isn’t even halfway into his career, but Morris has high hopes for him. If he continues to play at this level for years, then Morris’ prediction might end up coming true.

Coach Malone reveals how he motivates Nikola Jokic

During the post-game interview, coach Mike Malone was asked how he motivates Jokic to score. Malone was at his sarcastic best as he replied, “I locked him in my office one day and I beat him with a pillowcase full of soda cans”

While he may not actually be doing that, he has been able to motivate Jokic to average his career-best in points currently. Jokic is averaging 25.1 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 10 assists per game currently. He is also averaging career-best numbers in rebounds and assists, which shows how desperately he has been carrying the team so far.

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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

Nuggets fans will hope that coach Malone can motivate Jamal Murray in the same way. Although he is averaging a career-best of 19.2 points per game currently, he has been shooting poorly at 44% from the field and has been terribly inconsistent. During the playoffs, he was on fire, averaging 26.5 points while shooting 50% from the field, but that seems like a long time ago now.

Jan 14, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) dribbles the ball up court as Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins (22) guards in the first quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, he had five points while shooting 2-10 from the field. The Nuggets need him to be more consistent and step up as a leader. His form will be key for them, as they aim to climb up the Western Conference rankings.

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Aaron Mathew

1542 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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