I know that throughout this hiatus we've had glimpses of the new and improved Nikola Jokic
but now that he's finally back from Serbia and in the bubble we got our latest look and I'm sorry but who the fuck is that? I don't even really know how to process this new version of Jokic. A guy that was an inspiration to all the out of shape ballers across the globe, he always found a way to dominate despite being a little chunky
but this version has my brain in a pretzel. I figured those images from June were as skinny as he was going to get, but now looking at him there is no way that's the same person. I find this interesting for a couple of reasons. If things stay the way they are, the Nuggets will face the Rockets in the first round. Seeing as how the Rockets play small and fast, having a more in shape Jokic is pretty important. He still has the size to bully someone like PJ Tucker who is playing center, but maybe he'll be able to be on the floor longer. That's definitely a factor. Those two teams haven't faced each other since the Rockets switched their style.
But on the flip side, where there's concern is if DEN advances and plays someone like LAC in the second round. That's a much tougher task going up against a team with legit size. Will a skinnier Jokic be able to handle that? Jokic is easily one of the 10 best players currently in the bubble, but that was his chubby version. If this slimmer version works out and he moves up a few slots because he has better conditioning, maybe his defense improves or something, well that sort of changes the Nuggets chances no? On the flip side, if he's unable to defend his position and just get abused by opposing bigs, that's a problem.
All I know is even though I knew Jokic lost weight over the break, seeing that latest picture made me legit gasp. I've always enjoyed watching him play because he rules, but now I'm even more intrigued as to what this new version can do. It's either going to take the Nuggets to a new level or be a complete disaster.
This also makes me feel like a complete piece of shit that I too did not get in ridiculous shape during quarantine. Fuck that. House a share size bag of peanut butter M&Ms (the GOAT) for me one time Nikola.