Monday night in Dallas was one to forget for the Denver Nuggets. Playing what was the final game of a six game road trip, the Nuggets came out of the gates slow, and could not recover.
In what was a wire to wire victory for the lowly Mavericks, there was not much to be excited about except for one thing: “Big Honey”, aka Nikola Jokic. In just 26 minutes the young big man from Serbia had a very solid night scoring 27 points, snatching 11 rebounds to go along with 4 assists. Jokic was the Nuggets top performer finishing with a +/- of 2.
This brings about a hotly debated topic amongst the Nuggets community. Why is Nikola Jokic not getting the minutes he deserves? Currently, Nuggets head coach Michael Malone has been starting Jusuf Nurkic at the center position. Out of the two young big men, there is no debating who is the most talented. It’s Jokic, and it’s not that close. While Nurkic has the edge in size and paint presence, Jokic is far more skilled.
Although there was not much to talk about during the Nuggets six game road trip in which they dropped games to the dreadful Nets and the underwhelming Wizards, Jokic continues to be a bright spot. Before tonight, in his past five games Jokic had averaged 15 points on 57% shooting, along with 10.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists.
In spite of a lackluster start to the season, the Nuggets find themselves only three games back of the 8th seed in the West. If the Nuggets have any post season aspirations for the 2016-2017 season, Michael Malone must find a way to get arguably his most talented player more time on the court.