BROOKLYN, New York. In a tradition that has become almost as predictable as the midseason break itself, Nuggets center Nikola Jokic was named an All-Star on Thursday night.
This is the second season in a row that Jokic has been a Western Conference starter and his fourth consecutive All-Star selection overall. Joining him on Feb. 20 in Cleveland are fellow West picks LeBron James, Andrew Wiggins, Stephen Curry and Ja Morant. East were selected Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid, DeMar DeRozan and Trae Young.
Jokic, the reigning MVP, has once again proven himself in the NBA MVP race, and is doing so with even less help than last season.
The only reason the Nuggets are 26-21 heading into Friday’s game in New Orleans and still battling for home court advantage in the playoffs is because of Jokic. His 26.2 points and 7.6 assists per game are similar to last season, but his rebounds (13.8 per game) have skyrocketed to career highs. Its effectiveness has not dropped either.
He leads the NBA with 11 triple-doubles and has gone 20-20 in his last 17 games in points and rebounds.
Without big rotation figures like Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., it could be argued that Jokic’s production this season is more impressive than what he created last season by winning MVP. Although that’s a topic for another discussion, Jokic is easily among the top three frontcourt players in the West in the first half of this season.
Thursday’s news made it official.