And this is exactly why this man is the back-to-back NBA MVP.
The Denver Nuggets took out the Charlotte Hornets on Dec. 18, 119-115, led by an historic stat line from center Nikola Jokic — so historic that it hasn’t been done since legendary Basketball Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain in 1968.
Against the Hornets, Jokic put up 40 points off of 50% shooting (13 of 26). This included another 50% from behind the arc, with Jokic hitting 2-of-4 three-point attempts. And then it gets even sexier when Jokic tallied up an unreal 27 rebounds, before turning his stat line into a triple-double with ten assists. On the defensive end, he had two steals.
The mesmerizing numbers made Jokic the first player since Chamberlain to put up at least 40 points, 25 rebounds and 10 assists. Chamberlain did it back in 1968 when he played for the Philadelphia Warriors, racking up 53 points, 32 rebounds and dishing out 14 assists.
The Chamberlain stat isn’t the only history that Jokic made either. He also became only the third player in the entire history of the National Basketball Association to record at least 35 points and 25 rebounds in a single game. Chamberlain did it seven times in his career, while Elgin Baylor did it just once.
Nikola Jokic is the first player to record 40+ PTS, 25+ REB, and 10+ AST in a game since Wilt Chamberlain in 1968. pic.twitter.com/Zfbahd7HvZ
— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) December 19, 2022
Nikola Jokić is the 3rd player in NBA history with 35 points, 25 rebounds, and 10 assists in a game.
🏀Wilt Chamberlain (7x)
🏀Elgin Baylor (1x) pic.twitter.com/ijWPuRx9YP
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 19, 2022
Like I said, this is exactly why this man is the back-to-back MVP, and I’ll throw another one at you: He’s potentially heading towards a third straight — he’s currently fourth in the betting odds. And quite frankly from where I’m sitting, Jokic should be in the top spot.
Vegasinsider.com has Jayson Tatum first in its odds. He has been great this year too, with a stat line of 30.2 PPG (off of 47.0% shooting), 8.2 RPG and 4.1 APG. But are we really going to put him over Jokic? (RELATED: REPORT: LeBron’s Los Angeles Lakers Are Looking To Trade For Either Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard Or Bradley Beal)
This season, Jokic is nearly averaging a triple-double with a stat line of 25.2 PPG (off of 62.1% shooting), 10.9 RPG and 9.0 APG. Other than scoring, Jokic counters Tatum. And don’t get me wrong, Tatum is a monster, but if I’m an MVP voter, I’m giving the award to Jokic — his numbers are just too damn flashy. And now we have this man pulling off Wilt Chamberlain-esque stats for grabbing a crazy 27 rebounds?
You better believe Nikola Jokic is my NBA MVP — for the third straight season.