‣ Nikola Jokic became just the third reigning Finals MVP to open an NBA season with a triple-double.
‣ The Denver Nuggets hold the third-shortest odds to repeat this season in 2024 according to multiple NBA betting sites.
‣ Jokic led the NBA last season in multiple statistical categories and joined Larry Bird as the only players in NBA history to average at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists for a career.
Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic made NBA history as he became just the third reigning Finals MVP to open a season with a triple-double. He joined the ranks of iconic players Magic Johnson (1982) and LeBron James (2016). In the Nuggets’ 119-107 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, Jokic showcased his skills with an impressive 29 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists in just 36 minutes of play. This phenomenal performance was accompanied by a solid 54.5% shooting percentage from the field.
Looking ahead, multiple NBA betting sites have placed the Denver Nuggets as the third-favorites to repeat this season in 2024. However, better odds have been given to the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks. It will be interesting to see how the Nuggets fare in their quest to defend their championship title.
In a postgame interview, Jokic expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance, stating, “I think we controlled the game the whole time.” This assertion is supported by the Nuggets’ commanding early 18-point lead and their halftime advantage of 63-54. The team maintained their momentum, outscoring the Lakers 32-27 in the fourth quarter.
Jokic’s exceptional abilities were further exemplified by his remarkable stats from last season. As the NBA’s true shooting percentage leader, he achieved an impressive 70.1% rate. His player efficiency rating of 31.5, win shares of 14.9, and box plus/minus of 13 only solidified his position as a dominant force in the league. Additionally, he secured an impressive 29 triple-doubles, further distinguishing himself as one of the game’s greats.
Beyond his individual accomplishments, Jokic has also made a mark in NBA history. He joined the likes of Larry Bird as one of only two players to maintain career averages of at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists. Furthermore, his outstanding performance in Game 5 of the 2023 NBA Finals secured his status as the lowest-drafted player ever to win the Finals MVP award.
The Nuggets’ decision to select Jokic as the 41st overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft has proven to be an inspired choice. He became just the third second-round pick to earn the prestigious Finals MVP title, joining the ranks of Willis Reed and Dennis Johnson. Jokic’s achievement and undeniable on-court prowess led to his securing a historic five-year, $272 million max extension with the Nuggets in July 2022. Nonetheless, his record-breaking contract was overshadowed when Jalen Brown signed a five-year, $304 million extension with the Celtics more recently.
With his exceptional skills and prior achievements, it comes as no surprise that NBA sportsbooks have given Jokic the highest odds to win MVP this season. As the Nuggets continue their journey to defend their championship, fans and analysts alike eagerly anticipate witnessing Jokic’s continued brilliance on the court.