NBA

Nikola Jokic becomes first player in NBA history to record 2000 points, 1000 rebounds and 500 assists in single season

By Sports Desk April 08, 2022

MVP favorite Nikola Jokic became the first player in NBA history with 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a season in the Denver Nuggets' 122-109 home win against the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday, 

He had 35 points, 16 rebounds, six assists and five steals in his game-winning performance.

For the season, Jokic is eighth in the league in points per game (27.0), second in rebounds per game (13.7) and eighth in assists (7.9).

Out of players who average at least 20 minutes per appearance, Jokic is 12th in usage (30.9), which measures the percentage of his team's possessions that end with him shooting or turning the ball over while he is on the court.

Of the league's top 100 players in usage rate, none are shooting better than Jokic's 66.1 True Shooting percentage, which weights three-point shots, two-point shots and free throws to produce a single number.

Only 12 players have a better True Shooting percentage than Jokic, and of those players, Montrezl Harrell has the highest usage, at a role-player number of 19.8.

The Denver big man is also the only non-guard in the top 15 in assist percentage, coming in at sixth (38.8) and trailing only Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Chris Paul, James Harden and Dejounte Murray.

As Nuggets teammate Bones Hyland put it: "Dude is really great at basketball."

Hyland was not the only Nuggets representative to shower Jokic with praise when talking with the media after their win, with coach Michael Malone highlighting that he believes the MVP race has been decided.

"The MVP isn't even a competition," he said.

"There's other great players. I'm not saying they're not great players. But what Nikola Jokic has done this year – with this team – everything we've had to go through, is just incredible.

"He was good last year, and he's even better this year."

Even Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins was at a loss for how to deal with the threat he poses.

"We threw a lot at him,'' he said. "He's the MVP for a reason. He's nearly impossible to guard. 

"He's going to beat you from inside, outside, playmaking. He played at a really high level tonight.''

Meanwhile, Jokic said he was content to let his play do the talking, saying "if that's enough [to win MVP], it's enough… if not, you cannot control that.''

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