There’s been a lot of talk about who will- and should- win the NBA’s MVP award this season. But if anyone deserves it more than the rest of the field, it surely has to be Nikola Jokic. The Denver Nuggets star center simply does it all, and he led them to another win sans Jamal Murray on Wednesday night at the expense of the Portland Trail Blazers. For his standards, his numbers were a little low for this outing, as he scored 25 while grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out five assists.
Not the triple-double we feel like he posts every game, but he was crucial down the stretch, nailing three free throws to hand his team the victory. It’s his consistency and lack of injuries that have him atop the MVP race. It’s also got to be a plus that they have won four games in a row, improving to 38-20, during a time in which many would assume they would go backward. Michael Porter, Jr. also chipped in with 17 in the win, though none of those came in the last three-quarters of action. Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 22 in the loss that dropped them to 32-26 thus far. The main worry for Portland is that they are yet to win (0-9) against the top four Western Conference teams this season. So, a run to the playoffs might be short-lived if they can’t figure out that conundrum.