Nuggets season in review: Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic 2021-22 Per Game Stats

It was another historical season for Nikola Jokic, who averaged a career-high 27.1 points and 13.8 rebounds per game in 74 regular season games. Jokic averaged just under his career-high 8.3 assists per game as he averaged 7.9 dimes per game, which is still pretty remarkable. Not only did he score the ball at will, but he did so with ease as Jokic shot 58.3 percent from the field, 33.7 percent from beyond the arc, and 81 percent from the free-throw line.

Jokic not only set career highs with his offensive stats, but defensively he averaged a career-high 0.9 blocks and 1.5 steals per game. Fast forwarding to the playoffs, in the Nuggets five playoff games, Jokic averaged 31 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game. In the playoffs, Jokic shot 57.5 percent from three, 27.8 percent from the three-point line, and 84.8 percent from the free-throw line.

The story of the regular season

It was a regular season for the history books for Jokic as he followed his MVP season with an even better year, which earned him a second consecutive MVP trophy. Jokic joined some elite company as he is just the 13th player in NBA history to win MVP in back-to-back seasons. The rest of that list includes: Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Steph Curry, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Some pretty elite company for Jokic, who also became the first person in NBA history to record 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 500 assists in a single season. Jokic single-handedly carried the Nuggets to a playoff berth and even though they lost in five games to the Golden State Warriors it was still pretty special what the Nuggets big man was able to accomplish with a depleted roster.

Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Time after time, the Nuggets relied on Jokic to deliver and most of the time that is exactly what he did. As other MVP candidates did less with more talent around them, the Nuggets and Jokic continued to make it work no matter who was in the lineup.

Did it translate to the playoffs?

Absolutely it did, Jokic was the reason Denver made it to the postseason and he was the reason why they won at least one game against Golden State. The Nuggets as a team did not play great in the playoffs and although Jokic struggled in the first couple of games, he eventually returned to form and figured out Draymond Green, who gave him fits early in the series.

Jokic’s 57 percent shooting percentage in the playoffs was a career-high and the fact he was able to score 31 points per game so efficiently speaks to his overall greatness as a player. There weren’t a ton of things Denver could always count on this season, but in the regular season and postseason one constant stayed the same and that was the play from Jokic.

Best Moment — 49 point triple-double in Denver’s comeback victory against the Clippers

There is obviously a ton of moments to choose from, but for me it was Jokic’s 49-point triple-double in the Nuggets overtime victory against the Los Angeles Clippers. It was just something about that game that showcased how special and dominating Jokic truly is as a player. In his 41 minutes, Jokic scored 49 points on 16-of-25 shooting from the field, 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, and a whopping 14-of-16 from the free-throw line.

Jokic also hauled in 14 rebounds and dished out 10 assists in the mist of another impressive triple-double. The most impressive play in this game from Jokic actually came on his 10th assist of the night as he threw this remarkable pass to Aaron Gordon, who drained the game winning jumper:

It was a special night for Jokic and the Nuggets as they overcame a 15-point second half deficit and found a way to win. Jokic was absolutely dominant and single-handily — like he did most of the season — willed the Nuggets to victory.

Season Grade—A+

It’s hard to not give the player who captured a second consecutive MVP award anything less than an A+. It was a special year for Jokic and it deserves the best grade from anyone on the Nuggets this season. Jokic dominated the competition night in and night out and will continue to do so for many years to come.

What does the future hold for Nikola Jokic?

Jokic is now in line for a super-max contract this offseason, which is something I expect he and the Nuggets to get done to keep him in Denver for a very long time. As the cornerstone of the franchise, the Nuggets will be in good hands not only next year, but for many years to come as long as #15 stays in the Mile High City.

One parting note is how cool it was to see Jokic accept his MVP trophy last night in Serbia. Jokic did his TNT interview in front of his horse staple, which of course consisted of plenty of hilarious moments that we have grown accustomed to seeing once Jokic’s gets a mic in his hands.

The Nuggets also tweeted out this awesome video of Jokic being surprised by a large contingent of Denver’s front office and coaching staff as they broke the news of him winning MVP once again.

It’s rare we get to see Jokic that emotional, which made it a pretty special moment. Of course we would all love for the Nuggets to still be in the playoffs, but the fact we were able to see Jokic receive his MVP trophy at home in Serbia was something pretty special.

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