Nikola Jokic continued to build his MVP case by accomplishing a feat that only the legendary Wilt Chamberlain has done before.
Jokic is one of the MVP favorites in the best NBA betting sites. He is currently third in the latest MVP odds board of SportsBetting.ag +375 with only LeBron James (+160) and Joel Embiid (+275) ahead of him. But with the way he’s been playing, there’s a good chance he could close the gap further, or even pull ahead of LBJ and Embiid.
James’ Lakers continue to struggle without Anthony Davis and they have gone 3-6 without their star big man. Embiid’s Sixers have struggled in their last 10 games, winning just half of those games. Jokic’s Nuggets are only 7th in the Western Conference team standings but they have won four out of their last five, including their last three games.
Jokic has posted four double-doubles during this five-game span and he’s averaged 32 points per game over that period. He’s also recorded two triple doubles in his last three games, including one Tuesday’s 37 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists performance.
That effort not only helped the Nuggets beat the Milwaukee Bucks 128-97 at the Fiserv Forum but it also put Jokic in elite company in the NBA record books.
Centers With 50 Career Triple Doubles
With Tuesday’s triple double, Jokic now has 50 for his career and the only other center in the history of the NBA to have at least 50 triple doubles is the legendary Wilt Chamberlain. But while Wilt the Stilt accomplished his feat in 703 games, Jokic did it by playing in 287 fewer games in an era where every team has at least one seven-footer on its roster.
Centers to reach 50 career triple-doubles:
Wilt Chamberlain (did it in 703 games)
Nikola Jokić (did it in 416 games)
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) March 3, 2021
Jokic though, still has a long way to go before catching Wilt’s career total of 78 but at his pace, there’s no doubt he can do it for as long as he stays healthy. Still, being only the 9th player in the history of the NBA to post at least 50 triple doubles is no easy feat. And considering the fact that only Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson were the fastest to 50 triple doubles than him, Jokic’s feat is very impressive indeed.
For the season, Jokic has nine triple doubles and is just one behind season leader Russell Westbrook of the Washington Wizards who has 10. But Jokic could’ve easily been the triple-double leader of the 2020-21 campaign because he’s had six games where he missed a triple double by either one assists or one rebound. That just shows further how valuable Jokic has been to the Nuggets and his numbers are backing it up.
Jokic for MVP
For the season, Jokic is averaging 27.3 points, 11.0 rebounds, 8.6 assists, and 1.7 steals per game while shooting 56.9% from the field and 41.7% from deep. Not only are all of those numbers career-highs for the 41st pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, but those stats have also snowballed to give him a PER ( Player Efficiency Rating ) of 32.14, the highest ever for a single NBA season.
Here’s another reason why Nikola Jokic should win the MVP Award this season 👀🏆 pic.twitter.com/5X7yvD3Zcd
— Nuggets Nation (@NuggetsNationCP) March 3, 2021
Wilt Chamberlain was the only center to lead the league in assists and while Jokic is ranked “just” 6th in that statistical category this season, his 8.6 assists per game are something that no other center, except Chamberlain again, has done before.
Likewise, Jokic’s scoring average has increased by 7.3 points per game from the previous season. The reason behind that isn’t only because he’s shooting the ball better but because he has been more aggressive on the offensive end of the floor this campaign, taking four more shots per contest.
There’s no question that we’re seeing a different Nikola Jokic this season. This year’s version is a more aggressive and decisive one. Jokic was always one of the best players in the league. He’s one of the NBA’s unicorns. But this year, he’s proving that he’s a full-fledged superstar, one that is worthy of the MVP conversation.
Steve Richardson started writing content online in 2013 and has yet to slow down. Since joining our team at GamblingSites.org, he has covered sports, casino news, gambling laws, and much more! …