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Carmelo Anthony embarrassed by Nikola Jokic’s stunning feat for Nuggets

Nikola Jokic, Carmelo Anthony, Blazers, Nuggets

Nikola Jokic is 26 years old. Carmelo Anthony is 37. Yet, after the Denver Nuggets eliminated the Portland Trail Blazers in the teams’ first-round series, Jokic already owns the upper hand against Melo in a highly significant statistical category.

Believe it or not, Jokic, though 11 years younger, already has more NBA playoff series wins than Melo, a direct result of Denver’s six-game series victory over Portland, sealed Thursday night in Oregon. The Nuggets await the winner of the Phoenix Suns-Los Angeles Lakers series in the next round.

You can look at the playoff logs just to be sure. Carmelo Anthony won two playoff series with the Nuggets in 2009, over New Orleans and Dallas, before losing in the Western Conference finals to the Lakers. His only other playoff series win came in 2013 with the New York Knicks. Melo and New York beat the Boston Celtics in the first round. And that’s it. He has collected three series wins in his career. He hasn’t won another playoff series since 2013.

Jokic, the cornerstone of the Nuggets, has now won four NBA playoff series. He beat the San Antonio Spurs in the 2019 first round. He beat the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers last year in the Orlando bubble. Now he has beaten the Blazers.

Jokic 4, Melo 3. It’s not just a case of the Nuggets beating the Blazers, but Jokic surpassing Melo on an all-time scale at a very young age. To put things in perspective, Carmelo Anthony was Jokic’s age in June of 2010. In the 11 years since Melo turned 26, he has won exactly one playoff series.

What adds to Jokic’s achievement this season in Denver is that the Nuggets were without Jamal Murray, out for the season with an injury suffered a few months ago. It’s not as though Denver had anything close to a full roster with a complete amount of resources.

Jokic continues to pull his team higher than many superstars would. Carmelo Anthony isn’t a superstar now, but he used to be one, and he clearly never had the gravitational pull on a team that Jokic has now with the Nuggets.