Why Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic is such a ‘unique player,’ according to Lakers coach
Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic is undoubtedly one of the best centers in the NBA. However, according to Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel, there’s something that makes Jokic truly unique.
”You have to do it by committee. It’s really a five man assignment. He’s such a unique player that forces a lot of switches and ability to shoot the ball at the center position. It’s going to be a team effort,” Vogel said prior to the Lakers Wednesday matchup with the Nuggets per Duvalier Johnson of Mile High Sports.
After finishing fourth in MVP voting last season, the Serbian big man is having another All-Star season — albeit after some early-season struggles.
At just 24 years old, the seven-footer is averaging a career-high 20.8 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game while shooting 51.9 percent from the field and 32.4 percent from deep.
While the Lakers have superstar big man Anthony Davis to try to counter Jokic’s unique ability, the Lakers will likely have their hands full trying to stop the fifth-year pro on Wednesday.
As for Vogel, the veteran coach is in his first season as the Lakers head coach and behind the efforts of Davis and LeBron James, has led Los Angeles to the second-best record in the entire NBA.
Denver has a chance on Wednesday to cut Los Angeles’ conference lead to just two games as the Nuggets currently sit as the West’s second seed with a 38-16 record.
The two squads split their two earlier matchups this season with Denver winning most recently in a 128-104 blowout. In that game, Jokic dropped 18 points, six rebounds and five assists in 27 minutes.