Nikola Jokic Already Won

By Stephen Douglas
Nikola Jokic over some defenders.
Nikola Jokic over some defenders. / Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
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Nikola Jokic had 15 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists in the first half of game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. The Denver Nuggets took a 10 point lead into halftime against the Los Angeles Lakers. Whatever happens in the second half or the rest of the series doesn't really matter for Jokic because he has already won everyone over with stuff like this.

He just went right at Anthony Davis, like he did at the end of game 2, but this time Davis was ready. He didn't get bullied. Davis held his ground and force Jokic to shoot a fadeaway off the wrong foot as the shot clock ran down and Jokic just buried it. You cannot defend that play better. Like, one other person might make that same shot and it would most likely be on accident. Jokic seemed like he had been practicing that exact move from that exact spot his entire life.

The praise for Jokic got so serious during halftime that Charles Barkley said he was considering coming out of retirement to play with him. Jokic deserves every single compliment.

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