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Gregg Popovich compares Nikola Jokic to George Gervin

gregg popovich, nikola jokic, george gervin

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich had plenty of praise for Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic after his team took a 117-109 loss in the Mile High City on Tuesday night.

Jokic racked up a triple-double, his fourth of the season, tallying 23 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists in 33 minutes of play — which prompted Popovich to pull off this comparison with one of the Spurs’ greats.

“He’s got one of those George Gervin paces about him, you know,” said Popovich, according to Gina Mizell of The Denver Post. “He looks like he’s just kind of waltzing around and that kind of thing. But he’s so skilled. He can shoot it. He passes. He’s just a very smart player.”

Gervin, known as “The Iceman,” had perhaps one of the coolest, most effortless games of any vintage player, getting from one side of the court to the other like a painter using his brush stroke to make a single trace.

Jokic showed that same quality of pace, going 8-of-15 from the field, 2-of-5 from deep, and 5-of-6 from the stripe, as his Nuggets made the most of a second consecutive absence by LaMarcus Aldridge, who would have been a load at both ends.

The Nuggets have now won five of their last six games and positioned themselves in sixth place, only half a game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder, who took a loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers last night.

If Jokic keeps playing at Gervin-like pace, the Nuggets could nab another win on Thursday, and make it three in a row before the All-Star break.