Upgrade Your Fandom

Join the Ultimate DNVR Sports Community!

How Nikola Jokic made triple-double history again

Harrison Wind Avatar
February 23, 2024

Nikola Jokic knew he had a chance at history Thursday night.

When the Nuggets visited the Wizards earlier this season, Jokic was alerted to the fact that at the time, Washington was a team that Jokic had not had a triple-double against in his career.

Peyton Watson had no idea that was the case.

“I didn’t know that and it’s honestly bizarre,” Watson told DNVR following the Nuggets’ 130-110 win over the Wizards. “Becasue I think that Joker usually goes off against Washington.”

I then gave Watson my theory on why Jokic didn’t previously have a triple-double vs. the Wizards.

Watson: “Last time we played Washington he didn’t have a triple-double? He had like 42 points.”

DNVR: “He didn’t, and I think it’s because they usually just single-cover him every time.”

Watson: “You’re right. They do. He was supposed to have one in the first half today.”

DNVR: “He was one assist away.”

Watson: “He should have had it.”

“Obviously, he’s not worried about the triple-double,” Watson continued. “It’s the win that makes us most happy. I’m playing with one of the best to ever touch a pill. It’s sick to say, but we’re used to it at this point.”

“It” is Jokic’s routine greatness that’s on display practically every night these days. The best player in the world and MVP frontrunner finished with 21 points (10-10 shooting), 19 rebounds, and 15 assists in just 31 minutes against the Wizards. It was the second “perfect” triple-double that Jokic has turned in this season and fourth of his career.

Jokic now has a triple-double vs. every team in the NBA (other than the Nuggets). Only LeBron James and Russell Westbrook have previously accomplished that feat.

“It’s just something after I finish my career, legacy, milestone, I’m going to look back and I’m going to say that’s a really cool thing to do,” Jokic said late Thursday night.

Jokic officially registered his triple-double on a third-quarter assist to a driving Aaron Gordon just one minute and 30 seconds into the second half. But Jokic could have notched the triple-double earlier in the night.

On the Nuggets’ final possession of the first half, Kyle Kuzma deflected a lob that Jokic threw and intended for Michael Porter Jr. that would have been his 10th assist.

“No, I didn’t know he didn’t have a triple-double against them, Reggie Jackson told DNVR. “I just knew I was pretty pissed that Kuzma tupped the ball to end the half. Then he would have had a triple-double in the first half. I figured he already accomplished that. Best player in the world. He’s done some incredible things. It’s special to see.”

“He needs to wait a couple of years and trade himself so he can get one against the Nuggets. Just kidding. The dude is special,” Jackson continued. “The way he goes about the game. The way he plays. He plays it the right way. It never feels like he’s chasing it.”

Coming into this season, we all wondered how Jokic could improve from the player he was last year. How could he raise his game to an even higher place?

I think we have our answer now.

Jokic is controlling the game of basketball at a level that only a few in NBA history have. If he saw every play two or three moves ahead of time last year, he’s seeing them four or five moves ahead this season.

The game has somehow slowed down for him even more. Jokic can do whatever he wants on a basketball court. He can manipulate defenders how he sees fit. He can play every game how he wants to play it.

The result is practically flawless, immaculate, perfect basketball.

We’ve never seen it in Denver before. We’ll probably never see it again.

“It’s amazing. You can’t understate it,” Watson told DNVR. “You can’t take it for granted because he does it so often. It’s one of those things that you’ve got to appreciate every time.”

Scroll to next article

Don't like ads?
Don't like ads?
Don't like ads?