Will Barton insists Nuggets must run offense through Nikola Jokic
Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic has not exactly had the dream start to the 2019-20 campaign. Currently, the 24-year-old is averaging just 15.4 points (on 45.2 percent shooting), 10.1 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 31.2 minutes per contest.
There has been a considerable drop in Jokic’s scoring rate, coming down from a career-best 20.1 points per ballgame last season. The big man’s overall efficiency is also way down, thanks in large part to his woeful 22.5 percent mark from beyond the 3-point line.
For Nuggets teammate Will Barton, he believes it is necessary for the team to keep on feeding the ball to their superstar big man in order to help him get out of his slump:
“Listen man, we gotta play through him,” Barton said, via Mike Singer of The Denver Post. “Every year that’s going to work best for us. We’re a good team when he’s not scoring, but we’re a great team when he’s being dominant down there. We have championship potential when he’s cooking. We know that. We can get away with it some games, beat teams, but to be the team we want to be, we gotta play through him.”
Barton then went on to animatedly explain how he believes Jokic is struggling at the moment:
“I mean no one’s out there stopping him,” Barton said. “Look at the shots he missed today. He was missing bunnies that I’ve never seen him miss. I’m talking about joking around. His touch is that good. Him BSing around in shootaround or in the workout, he makes those shots. Right now, no one’s doing nothing to him. He’s just missing. I think he’s thinking a little bit too much, once he gets out of his own head, he’ll be back to him.”
The Nuggets still have a very respectable record at the moment with 13 wins against five losses, but as Barton expressed above, this team can do so much more if Jokic is able to find his groove again.