Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic expected to be back and stable for Saturday’s game vs. 76ers
This weekend’s big divisional encounter will witness the 76ers hosting the title-contending Nuggets at the Wells Fargo Center in Pennsylvania. However, the big question that both Denver and Philadelphia fans are wondering – will Nikola Jokic be fit for this clash of titans?
It’s been an up and down month of January for “The Joker”, as he’s been slowly recovering from a hamstring injury and the Serbian is yet to find comfort or stability. I’ll remind you that these types of injuries are common to linger, and sometimes even, ruin seasons for players.
The Denver giant returned this past Tuesday against New Orleans, and played like the MVP player he is. Watch as the Nuggets star bounced back as he scored 25 points, won eleven rebounds, and handed ten assists in 36 minutes of play in his team’s triumph over the Pelicans (99-98).
But then again, he missed last night’s game against the Bucks, denying the fans the hugely expected encounter between Giannis Antetokoumpo and Jokic, two of the most fiery contenders for the league’s MVP in the past years. This means the Nugget’s 27-year-old has been absent during four out of the last eight games. Should we consider him injury prone?
Well, turns out no. He seems to be fit for the weekend, but simply hasn’t been able to handle consecutive matches lately, as he isn’t completely recovered from his hamstring issue. For a basketball player to endure an 82-regular season campaign over six months without missing a game is almost impossible, especially if you are playing three to four matches a week.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr has been more insistent than ever lately about the importance of having lesser games per season, as he assures shorter campaigns will bring balance to the calendar, improve the players health and bring more quality to the court.
“I feel terrible for fans who bought a ticket expecting to see someone play. It’s a brutal part of the business,” he said. “It’s why I continue to advocate for 72-game seasons”, Kerr finalized after last weekend’s Warriors game in Cleveland, where he had to rest Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.
So that’s the thing, Denver are nowhere near the potential they show when the Serbian is on the court. Not only the Nuggets are 20.8 points per 100 possessions better when he’s playing, he’s pretty much been unstoppable reaching a 20-4 record since December.
As he is continually racking up the triple-doubles, he is breaking records. Last week he became the player with most assists in Nugget’s history, passing the franchise legend Alex English being only 27 years of age!
Do not miss this MVP battle in Philly!
Current two-time MVP league winner Nikola Jokic will face the award-contender Joel Embiid, who’s never won the trophy, but is third place climbing the ladder for this year’s prize.
According to JazzSports, the six-foot-eleven Serbian still has the highest chances (-150) to earn the MVP award for the third consecutive time, as for Embiid, he possesses the 4th best odds (+750).
Also, a few of our recommended sport betting sites rank Denver to the second best odds in the league, much higher possibilites than Philadelphia (who possess the 8th best chances) to win this year’s NBA title.
Denver is currently leading the Western Conference with an outstanding 34-15 record, as the Sixers trail second in the East (31-16), just behind Boston, the title favorites.
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