Nikola Jokic is living up to his moniker once again, and that too in just his second game of the new NBA season. The Joker made an over 70-foot inbound pass to Aaron Gordon, who dunked it down in style. The ref hadn’t even handed him the ball yet, and he was already transitioning into a 70-foot alley-oop to Aaron Gordon. The play exemplifies the Denver Nuggets‘ remarkable chemistry right now.
Aaron Gordon anticipated Jokic’s pass and timed his jump precisely to knock the dunk home. The pass was so good and clever that it made Grizzles head coach Taylor Jenkins call a timeout while the Nuggets were leading 76-68. Jokic is unquestionably the greatest passing big man in the NBA currently and, arguably, in history too. The flashy pass by the Joker is already being talked of as the pass of the year.
Pass of the year already???
— Overtime (@overtime) October 28, 2023
Jokic’s playmaking set multiple records for a center last postseason, and he’s taken up right where he ended that historic run that resulted in a championship and Finals MVP award. In his nine seasons in the NBA, the big man has been crowned league MVP twice and has been picked for the All-Star Game five times.
Nikola Jokic’s 22 points helped the Denver Nuggets to victory
On Friday night, the Nuggets defeated the Grizzlies, 108-104, to improve to 2-0 on the season. Nikola Jokic was a force yet again, scoring 22 points, grabbing 12 rebounds, and giving 7 assists on 8-of-14 shooting. The statistics depict Jokic’s all-around skill, but they do not convey how exciting his play can be.
Between Denver’s first two games, Nuggets coach Michael Malone prioritized better transition defense and defensive rebounding. The Lakers finished with 20 fast-break points, despite Malone’s 30 in the first game. Memphis came in second with 22 fast break points on Friday. Against the Nuggets, both teams grabbed 13 offensive rebounds.
While Memphis’ best player, Ja Morant, is serving a suspension, his teammates could not bring victory despite a good fight. The Nuggets were just sharper when it counted most in this game like they were throughout the postseason. They were able to finish out the Grizzlies behind strong performances from Jokic and Jamal Murray.