Welcome to the twenty-fourth edition of “Who to Rep,” our ongoing series in which we recommend a player to rep for the upcoming week. Our selection process is rigorously unscientific, but we hope you like it anyway.
30-15-17. That was Nikola Jokic’s stat line in his last game before the All-Star break. It’s videogame ridiculous, and puts him in some extremely elite company. A 30-15-15 line has only been accomplished six other times in NBA history, five of them by league MVPs (Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Oscar Robertson, and Wilt Chamberlain twice). The last was done in 2016 by this year’s presumptive MVP, James Harden. That’s some pretty elite company there for the Joker.
If you want to make it even more elite, only Jokic, Magic, and Harden did it with 17 assists. Jokic also got his numbers on ludicrously efficient .786 shooting. Only Wilt topped that, at .833, but Jokic was still ultimately more efficient as the Stilt (being the Stilt) whiffed on seven free throws, while Jokic was perfect from both the line (5 for 5) and beyond the arc (3 for 3). That puts Jokic at an 89.29% effective field goal percentage and 92.6% true shooting percentage, both best in class.
Making the feat even more incredible, it was the fastest an NBA player had ever reached a triple double. On top of that, it was Jokic’s second consecutive triple double; he’d also hung 23-13-11 on San Antonio in the game before. Both were wins, of course, and along with an easy win over sad-sack Phoenix, they make up Denver’s fifth three-game win streak of the season (and put them at 6-1 over their last seven games). For the streak, Jokic is averaging a Robertsonian* 24.7-12.3-12 per game, along with 77% shooting and Vesuvious-level hot 67% shooting from three on over three attempts per game.
*Hat tip to Oscar Robertson, who once averaged a triple double for a incomprehensible five season stretch of his career.
Small sample size, sure, but Jokic playing like an MVP (or several, if you’re looking at the statistical company he’s in) for a week while your team logs three straight wins (with two of them coming against playoff-caliber competition), makes it pretty tough to keep Who to Rep away from him this week.
So, whether you’re a Mile High fan looking to rep your team while they’re peaking (and with Paul Millsap expected back in March, no less), or just a fan of Jokic’s uniquely suave big-man game, there’s no better time to rep a Nikola Jokic jersey.