Nikola Jokic has managed to bounce back from a struggling start to the 2019-20 season after his Denver Nuggets unconvincingly battled for another top spot in the West as they did in 2018-19.

Jokic saw himself misfire early in the season and fail to put up the big numbers that made him a potential MVP candidate last season, but admitted once he got his shot back and lost a good amount of weight, he found his groove again:

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“I think I didn't shoot it that well in the first period, my shots were always off and short and I was a little bit overweight,” said Jokic during an interview during All-Star Weekend.

Asked how much weight he dropped during the season, Jokic responded “around 20-25 pounds.”

Jokic has always been a big guy and is known for being stout without much muscle definition. Yet his skill around the basket can be at times unparalleled, making the most of his finesse game to get buckets.

His lack of athleticism hasn't been an inconvenience, given his shooting stroke and feathery touch around the basket, but getting those extra 20-25 pounds off likely did wonders for his mobility, his stamina, and made it easier on his legs. Taking that weight off likely sparked new vigor in his jumper as well, no longer having to lift those 285 pounds off the ground.

Surprisingly enough, Jokic has caught up to his averages from last season, putting up 20.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game in 2019-20. He's also shooting even better than he did a year ago, burying 51.8% of his shots from the field and an improved 32.9% from deep, much closer to his career average of 34.2% than the 30.7% connect rate he mustered in 2018-19.

The Nuggets currently boast a 38-17 record, which is good for second in the Western Conference. Denver is four games behind the Los Angeles Lakers.