Nikola Jokic doesn't seem to take himself too seriously. But while the jovial Serbian has “always been kind of light-hearted and funny,” Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone has provided some insight on his mindset come this time of year.

Speaking prior to Game 2 of the NBA Finals after a dominant series-opener, Malone was asked about Jokic's approach to basketball.

“I think as the years have gone on he's definitely matured…not that he was immature, I'm not saying that he was just goofin' off all the time, but he has a great personality. He doesn't take himself too serious, and when you walk through a locker room and all the guys are hanging out and talking to each other and having a good time, I think that speaks to how together and connected that group is. But Nikola has matured, he hasn't changed who he is at his core, but he definitely during this time of the season has very much a business-like approach to basketball.”

Whatever Jokic's approach, clearly it's working. Not only is he the best player in the world and the winner of two of the last three MVP awards, but he's able to elevate his game even further in the postseason, something of which the four teams against which the Nuggets have played these playoffs are all too aware.

Nikola Jokic has been a dominant force this postseason, and kicked off his NBA Finals career with a 27-point (on 8-12 shooting no less), 10-rebound, 14-assist effort in Game 1. His ability to remain undeterred by the bright lights of the playoffs is plain to see, and his influence both on and off the court has taken the Nuggets to within just three games of their first ever championship.