Denver Nuggets superstar big man Nikola Jokic stuffed the stat sheet in Monday's contest against the Philadelphia 76ers. He scored 25 points — on 8-for-11 shooting from the field — grabbed 17 rebounds, and dished out 12 assists in a game the Nuggets went on to win by a final score of 116-111. So when Brandon Ingram, Trey Murphy III, and the New Orleans Pelicans visit the Ball Arena on Thursday night to play the Nuggets, every Nuggets fan will surely be dying to know: Is Nikola Jokic playing tonight vs. the Pelicans?
Nikola Jokic injury status vs. Pelicans
The Nuggets initially had Jokic listed as questionable for Thursday's showdown due to right calf tightness, per the NBA's official injury report. It was later revealed, however, that Denver had decided to give their star big man the night off against New Orleans. Jokic has now been ruled out of Thursday's contest.
In other injury news relevant to the Nuggets, Vlatko Cancar (left ankle sprain) is also questionable to play for Denver.
Jokic, 28, is in his eighth year in the NBA, all as a member of the Nuggets franchise. He's averaging 24.9 points, 11.9 rebounds, 9.9 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.7 blocks per game across 67 appearances this season (all starts).
The Serbian native is shooting the ball with excellent efficiency from the field in the 2022-23 campaign — Jokic's current 63.4% field-goal percentage is the highest of his pro career by a wide margin.
Expect the Nuggets to beat the Pelicans at home on Thursday, even without Jokic in the lineup. After all, the Nuggets have been practically unbeatable at home this season, as they own a 32-6 home record, the second-best in the NBA. But with regard to the question, Is Nikola Jokic playing tonight vs. the Pelicans, the answer is no.