By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
After losing for the fifth time in the last six games, this time to New York, Nikola Jokic had to address the way the Nuggets are performing.
Jokic, who had 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists in 37 minutes, didn’t hide the obvious: “It is what it is. We need to be concerned. We need to try to win the next one.”
Denver will have the chance to bounce back against the Nets, however, Jokic sees the big picture and mainly the rebounding woes of his team: “Me first, and then everybody collectively, needs to do a better job of rebounding the ball, because even when we made a couple stops, we didn’t rebound and they just got easy ones. They had like 15 offensive rebounds, so that’s a lot. That’s 15 chances to score again.”
“It was the rebounding, and our inability to defend without fouling,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said when asked what caused Denver’s issues late in the game. “Now you’re playing against a set defense for 12 minutes, and then you couple that on top of turnovers. I think those are three areas that stood out to me.”
The drop of Denver is also reflected in Jokic’s chances to win a third straight MVP title, something that very few legends of the game have achieved.
The current bad streak of the Nuggets has pushed Joel Embiid to the top spot of the official NBA MVP ladder, leaving Jokic in the backseat, despite the fact that the Serb big man has an even better season by the numbers compared to his previous two MVP-winning years.
Jokic is currently averaging 24.8 ppg, 11.8 rpg, and 9.9 apg, just shy of a triple-double average for the first time in his career.