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Sixers coach Brett Brown calls Nuggets center Nikola Jokic ‘a unicorn by any standard’

Brett Brown, Nikola Jokic

The first time we heard the nickname “Unicorn” in the NBA was when it was given to Dallas Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis during his time with the New York Knicks.

But Porzingis isn’t the only player in the league deserving of that nickname.

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown says that Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is also such a talent, and he raved about the Serbian ahead of the Sixers’ matchup with the Nuggets on Friday:

“He’s a unicorn,” Brown said of Jokic at shootaround, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post. “I think Joel Embiid is like that where you have a big that can shoot threes. Jokic is an elite passer and he’s obviously a big man that can score in the post, but he’s a unicorn by any standard and that is said with a tremendous amount of respect. It’s as good a compliment as you could give people.”

Through seven games this season, Jokic has actually struggled a bit, averaging 14.9 points, 9.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.1 steals over 29.6 minutes per game while shooting 46.0 percent from the floor, 28.0 percent from 3-point range and 77.3 percent from the free-throw line.

Still, that’s obviously a small sample size, and it seems much more likely that Nikola Jokic will eventually post numbers similar to last year when he registered 20.1 points, 10.8 boards, 7.3 assists and 1.4 steals across 31.3 minutes a night while making 51.1 percent of his field goal attempts, 30.7 percent of his long-distance tries and 82.1 percent of his foul shots en route to the All-Star team.

Both the 76ers and the Nuggets are 5-2 thus far this season.