Elected double MVP just a few weeks ago, Nikola Jokic probably has nothing to worry about for his place in the Nuggets. However, a rookie from the franchise has declared himself ready to replace him in the starting 5… with the approval of Mike Malone!
Third in the West at the end of the 2020-21 season, they have experienced more difficulties in recent months. Just 6th in the conference (48-34), the Nuggets were still able to count on a gala Nikola Jokic to lead them to the playoffs. Still sparkling, the Serbian pivot compiled averages of 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists, synonymous with a second MVP title.
All the talent of the Joker was not enough against the Warriors, future champions, during the first round of the postseason. Denver can still feed big ambitions for next year. In addition to the injury returns of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., the arrivals of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Bruce Brown or even DeAndre Jordan could be close to great gains. And why not shake up the current hierarchy of the roster!
DeAndre Jordan’s viral statement about Nikola Jokic
Recently interviewed by the Denver Post following his signing to the Nuggets, Jordan sought to quickly pocket local reporters. For this, he split a nice line of humor about Jokic, saying that he was preparing… to replace him in the major five!
Well, Mike Malone told me I was going to start and bench Nikola as soon as I arrived.
Certainly the author of sometimes questionable choices vis-à-vis his rotation in recent years, the Denver coach must still not be crazy enough to relegate his best player, incidentally double MVP in title, on the sidelines. DAJ is well aware of this, and knows full well that he will take on a backup role in the months to come. Not enough to reduce his ambitions despite everything:
Of course, everyone knows that Nikola is the centerpiece of the team. So going from there, my role off the bench is going to be to help the second unit by providing speed, screens, allowing guys to be open, having good shots, and finishing all the actions I can in transition, scraping offensive rebounds, controlling the paint and responding defensively on my minutes.
His speech may be encouraging on paper for the fans, but this time Dede Jordan will have to put his words into action. Indeed, his recent stints with the Lakers and 76ers haven’t really seen him prove as complete and valuable as a backup. It only remains to wish in Colorado that his proximity to Jokic will allow him to find a decent level!
Failing to seduce all Denver fans with his profile, DeAndre Jordan can always try to charm them with his humor. A character trait that he shares with Nikola Jokic, and which could allow the two big men to get along!