Could Nikola Jokic lead the league in assists this season?

Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets is defended by Mike Muscala #33 at Ball Arena on 22 Oct. 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images)
Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets is defended by Mike Muscala #33 at Ball Arena on 22 Oct. 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images) /

Nikola Jokic could add another incredible season with the Denver Nuggets as the fans are hoping that he will lead the team to an NBA title soon, after consecutive years of individual excellence.

Jokic has always made the most of any squad he played with in his time in Denver. That’s what makes him such a difference-maker and one of the best bigs we’ve ever seen in the NBA. I think the Nuggets have put the best team around Jokic since he first started playing in the league.

The Serbian superstar seems poised to find his footing after a busy summer, where he played for his national team in the EuroBasket. So, he will need more time to get back to his usual speed and form as we’re moving deeper into the 2022-23 season.

However, can Jokic average monster numbers again this year? Is he capable of constantly registering double-digit assists in a season, and what that could mean for the Nuggets?

Nikola Jokic racing against an NBA mogul

Nikola Jokic is just one triple-double away from registering the most career triple-doubles for a big man. So, I think that there will be a time the Nuggets’ superstar will average double-digit assists for a season.

To add to the context, Wilt Chamberlain is the big man with the best average (8.6) in a season. Nikola Jokic follows him with 8.3 during the 2020-21 season and 7.9 per game in the 2021-22 season. In both of those two seasons, he won the MVP award.

For a big to average double-digit assists is a tall task to ask, but Jokic is by far the most ball-dominant center NBA fans have seen in the league since Wilt. In any case, it’s almost certain he will average more than 8.6 assists in a season at some point during his career.

Throughout NBA history, many players had a season where they dished more than 9.9 assists per contest. All of them were guards, with names like Magic Johnson and John Stockton jumping out as the only two players to finish with double-digit career averages.

The possibility of averaging more than 9.9 this season

Despite the slow start in the offensive end, Jokic has been crucial as the player who naturally runs the Nuggets’ offence. Denver is scoring 118.6 points per 100 possessions when he’s on the floor, while they’re a minus-24.9 when the Serbian is sitting on the bench, per

With him not looking for his shot early, Jokic seems poised to run plays for his teammates. The Nuggets are shooting excellently during the first seven games of the season making them on a 47.7 percent clip from the field and 39.4 percent from deep.

Jokic’s assist ratio is up to 32.1 through seven games, most of the time trying to create easy buckets for the rest of the team. He has been noticeably less aggressive on the offensive side, as he takes just 12.4 field goal attempts after shooting a little more than 17 per contest last year.

Despite his somewhat passiveness, Jokic is taking advantage of Denver’s hot shooting at the start of the season dishing 8.4 assists. Aaron Gordon (14 FGM) and Michael Porter Jr. (12 FGM) are the Denver players that are assisted the most by Nikola Jokic early in the season.

Bruce Brown and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope follow with nine and eight FGM, respectively. Naturally, there’s a feeling that the Nuggets have a better-suited roster around Jokic this season, with the necessary shooting and defensive ability being present.

So, in my opinion, Jokic has the necessary tools to make history as the first big to average double-digit assists this year. The 2022 MVP will need of course players to remain healthy and more importantly Jamal Murray to earn back his form.

Jamal Murray, the X-Factor

Jamal Murray will be crucial for the Denver Nuggets and the way that he will be able to perform in the latter stage of the season will likely characterize the outcome of it as a success or failure. In any case, taking the max from the two superstars of the team will be huge for several reasons.

Murray was one of the main targets of Jokic’s excellent passing prior to his injury. During the 2020-21 season, Jokic assisted Murray’s 94 of the 378 made field goals in the 48 games he appeared before going down with an ACL injury.

Prior to that season, in the 2019-20 campaign, he made 408 field goal attempts and Jokic was the creator in 129 of those. So the two-man game of Jokic and Murray produces many easy baskets and as a result more assists for the Serbian.

So, in conclusion, Murray’s shooting percentages could determine if Nikola Jokic has a shot at making NBA history and finishing the season with more than 9.9 assists per game.

Next. How KCP is providing value early in the season. dark