Nikola Jokic is the best passing center in NBA history, and his talent was on full display as the Denver Nuggets defeated the Los Angeles Clippers over seven games in the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs. Jokic was masterful in the decisive Game 7, finishing with 16 points, 13 assists, and 22 rebounds in the win. He was the best player in a series that also featured Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Jokic saved his best pass for the final moments of Game 7. As the Nuggets opened up a huge lead to seal the victory, Jokic threw this behind-the-head pass to teammate Jamal Murray.
It’s not just the audacity of the pass that stands out — it’s that Jokic perfectly led Murray on his cut to the basket and put the ball right in his hands.
Jokic burned the Clippers again and again with his passing ability, especially when they doubled him in the post. Some of Jokic’s less flashy passes were just as impressive:
Jokic pass angle/timing variouity is not just coming from advanced read ability. I think he calculate(or eye gazing #) at least 3times while this short moment.
Seems like (Wathch eye gaze and arm action)
1) To corner cutter ? – to Wing ? – fake to corner ? – give to Wing. pic.twitter.com/CwAfuZDy1M
— Skyfall (@polarfall) September 16, 2020
What Jokic just did — knock off the team with the reigning Finals MVP by being the best player on the floor — is a sign of true superstar status. Jokic is a top-10 player alive and he might be top-five soon. In many ways, what Jokic does as a passer feels just as astounding as what Stephen Curry can do as a shooter.
We get to watch Jokic vs. LeBron James in the conference finals in a meeting of two of the league’s best pure passers. It’s going to be so much fun.