Jamie Schwaberow/NBAE through Getty Photographs
Breaking information: Nikola Jokić continues to be a unprecedented basketball participant.
The defending NBA Finals MVP picked up the place he left off, eviscerating the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night time within the opening recreation of the 2023-24 season and main the Denver Nuggets to a 119-107 win.
Jokić did all of it, as common, posting yet one more triple-double (29 factors, 13 rebounds, 11 assists) in a profession filled with them.
Jokic goes to work early with the trademark floater 😤
Jokic muscular tissues in for the robust and-one end 😤
25 PTS for Jokic.
7 level lead for the Nuggets.
NIKOLA JOKIC TRIPLE-DOUBLE 🗣️
Jamal Murray (21 factors, six assists) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (20) had sturdy outings for Denver as nicely, whereas LeBron James (21 factors, eight rebounds, 5 assists) and Anthony Davis (17 factors, eight rebounds, 6-of-17 from the sector) could not preserve tempo with Jokić.
However who actually can?
It was the kind of opening-night efficiency that already had followers crowing the celebrity heart because the MVP favourite and singing his praises:
Daniel Gibson @DQGibson
Jokic is about to win his third MVP and cement his place prime 10 all time. Admire it whereas it is taking place.
It is okay to not problem the Jokic finest passing large man ever factor. No participant his measurement has ever had an offense run by means of him like this.
Rob Perez @WorldWideWob
Jokic at present giving AD a menu to decide on how he desires to be scored on.
Dave DuFour 🐲 @DaveDuFourNBA
AD is theoretically going to be within the DPOY race and Jokić can completely get a bucket on him any time he desires.
What within the hell do you do with that?
Jokic is legit in his prime, I feel nobody can guard Jokic within the submit, cannot double him as a result of he received that elite passing, and may depart him open as a result of he’s totally different
There was loads of anticipation main into this recreation, given all of the offseason sniping between these groups after Denver swept the Lakers in 4 video games in final season’s Western Convention Finals.
“[The end of last season] may be very motivational,” Davis mentioned on the Lakers media day earlier in October. “… I feel, me and ‘Bron had some conversations like, ‘We won’t wait.’”
“Anytime you lose, it is motivation to prepare for the following season to try to compete for a championship in order that in itself is motivation but additionally, all of the little speaking that is been going round all summer time—we’re prepared,” he added.
However saying you are prepared for Jokić and really coping with him… nicely, these are two very various things. On this burgeoning rivalry, chalk up one other win for the Serbian heart.