For November, Nikola Jokic averaged 15.8 points per game, with a below-league-average 51 true shooting percentage and hitting 23.6 percent from three.
In February, Jokic is averaging 27 points a game with a 66.3 true shooting percentage and is knocking down 35.3 percent of his shots from three.
The difference? He admitted he dropped 20-25 pounds during this season, thanks in large part to an improved diet. Look at what Jokic said to ESPN over the All-Star break.
“I think I didn’t shoot it that well in the first [part of the season], my shots were always off and short and I was a little bit overweight.”
He then went on to say he has dropped 20-25 pounds.
It was pretty obvious to observers that, despite playing for Serbia at the World Cup (where his team beat Team USA), he had shown up to Nuggets training camp heavy. Jokic is so skilled that even heavy he was a good player, but he was not the elite center the Nuggets need to be a threat.
He is back to being that Jokic now, looking like an All-NBA player who deserves some MVP ballot consideration — and the Nuggets need that version of him.
Denver comes out of the All-Star break as the two seed in the West, but only 3.5 games separate seeds 2-5. Denver has a tougher remaining schedule the rest of the way than any of the other teams in that mix, slip up a few games and the Nuggets could start the playoffs on the road.