Nikola Jokic, who do you think you are, sir?
Who makes this pass? Who sees that guy in the corner? Who is this calm getting doubled as the shot clock ticks under five while in no position to shoot the ball themselves? Not only that, but who makes this pass and puts it perfectly in the shooting pocket while spinning and falling away to a shooter 40 feet away in the opposite corner?
AARON GORDON GIVES THE @nuggets THE WIN 🔥
Nikola Jokic picks up the triple-double on the cross-court pass to give Denver the OT win! pic.twitter.com/AHJIMHKWbc
— NBA (@NBA) January 20, 2022
In a game in which Jokic had 49 points and 14 rebounds, it’s this pass — his 10th assist to earn a triple-double and a win — that is the highlight above all else. After the game, Jokic explained the play by detailing, without looking at a replay, literally everything that was happening around him on the court, including the names of the Clippers defenders who moved where and opened up Gordon in the corner, which was an incredible glimpse into the mind of this basketball savant.
It was fitting that on a night where Joel Embiid scored 50 points in 27 minutes to put forth his latest MVP case, the reigning MVP reminded everyone that he too belongs in the conversation as he continues to drag the Nuggets to wins at 23-20. As for the man who hit the game-winner, Gordon put forth a monster effort of his own with 28 points, four rebounds, and three assists, as he’s steadily figuring out how to fill in the gaps around Jokic in the frontcourt as they’ve become a formidable tandem — one Denver hopes they’ll eventually pair with a backcourt to match.