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Nikola Jokic averaging triple-double numbers, bolsters MVP case

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Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic is now averaging 25.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 10 assists through 44 starts this season, and the four-time All-NBA member is attempting to become the first player since Larry Bird (1984-86) to win three straight MVP awards.

In Tuesday’s 122-113 win over the New Orleans Pelicans, the five-time All-Star became only the fifth player to record 26 points, 18 boards, and 15 assists in a single game, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Bird, and Russell Westbrook.

Per a few NBA betting sites, Nikola Jokic remains the top favorite to win MVP. However, some sportsbooks are still showing favorable odds for Joel Embiid, Luka Doncic, and Jayson Tatum.

“I’m happy as long as we are winning games and the players are happy around me,” Nikola Jokic said. Denver is undefeated at 16-0 when Jokic records a triple-double.

Despite working around hamstring tightness, the Nuggets center logged his 16th triple-double of the season and 92nd of his eight-year career. Jokic has posted six more triples than Doncic, leading the NBA in this metric. The two-time MVP has registered 34 double-doubles as well.

Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic is now averaging triple-double numbers this season, strenthens case to win third straight MVP award

Through 44 starts, the Serbian superstar is shooting a career-best 63.1% from the field and 38.8% outside the arc. Additionally, Jokic has a league-best player efficiency rating of 32.1, and he’s averaging a career-high true shooting percentage of 70.4%.

On Dec. 14, in Denver’s 141-128 win over the Washington Wizards, the center scored a season-high 43 points in 34 minutes of action. Along with grabbing 14 rebounds, Joker shot 17-of-20 (85%) from the floor and 9-of-10 (90%) at the foul line.

Nikola Jokic leads the NBA in win shares (9.9), offensive win shares (7.6), box plus/minus (13.1), offensive rating (135.2), value over replacement player (5.6), offensive box plus/minus (8.8), and defensive box plus/minus (4.4).

Therefore, if Joker falls short of winning the MVP award this season, it better be because of Embiid or Doncic. Even then, one could argue that Denver wouldn’t still be the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference without him. Per Basketball-Reference, Jokic has a Hall of Fame probability of 48.5%.

James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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