Alex’s post: Luka Dončić and Nikola Jokić, the two fantastić

The schedule of an NBA season is madness. The matches follow one another. On Christmas Day, December 31, January 1, we play. Barely finished the regular, 16 teams dispute the Playoffs. Some players participate in a hundred matches in eight months. Through insane pace, the big league imposes intense effort and suffering on the bodies and minds that indulge in it. Very few human beings have the genetic heritage and the work force necessary to perform in this context. Among them, Luka Dončić and Nikola Jokić. Two geniuses.

What is a genius?

According to Larousse, he is someone endowed with a natural aptitude of the mind which makes him able to conceive, to create things, concepts of an exceptional quality. the Robert offers us a series of synonyms including divinity, demon, god, prodigy, crack, ace, light… Wikipedia devotes a page to genius as a person. The most used free encyclopedia on the planet speaks of “a person who stands out in an exceptional way from his contemporaries by an extraordinary talent and/or a remarkable intellectual skill or even an extraordinary creative aptitude”. The notions of creation and exception come up several times and it is no coincidence. We talk about standing out from our contemporaries and that’s no coincidence either. We refer to natural abilities (for genius not for us, common mortals) but we are indeed at the gates of the supernatural.


Luka Dončić has appeared in 34 of the Mavericks’ 37 games since the start of the season. He’s shooting 34.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 8.9 assists per game, shooting 51 percent. He already has eight triple-doubles on the clock, including one of the biggest of all time, executed on the night of Tuesday to last Wednesday against the Knicks: 60 points, 21 rebounds and 10 offerings to friends. A performance that installs Luka in chamberlain spheres. Four days before, it was 50 points, 8 rebounds and 10 assists that he had slammed on the Rockets’ reactors. Last night, before going to pop the champagne, Luka sent another game over 50 points (on the Spurs) without losing a single ball. The Slovenian thus ends the year on a series of five games – including three with 50 units or more – at the supernatural statistical line: 45.6 points, 11.2 rebounds and 10.2 assists. All at almost 60% shooting, including 50% behind the arc. This is absolutely absurd (or absurdly absolute?).

Nikola Jokić once again perfectly mixes love and violence this season. Love for the orange ball and violence towards opponents. Niko was on the floor in 32 of the Nuggets’ 35 games. 25 double-doubles, 8 triple-doubles and statistical averages whose simple enumeration dispenses with any further comment: 25.5 points, 10.9 rebounds and 9.5 assists, with 61.6% shooting success! His month of December, 14 games, is in this line, even a notch above with more than 29 points per evening accompanied by more than 12 rebounds and more than 10 caviars. In addition, as these lines are written, the Nuggets are first in the Western Conference while Jamal Murray and a Michael Porter Jr are slowly returning from long absences. A few questions come (sur)naturally to mind in front of what the Jokić offers us. A pivot best passer in the league, is it possible? The Serb is third for now but he will continue to feed every well-placed Nugget, so yes it is possible. Are we witnessing a third MVP trophy season in a row? Let’s say that if the Nuggets finish first or second in the West with a big record and brilliant pivot in triple-double average (or almost), the other files – as monstrous as they are – will have a hard time preventing Nikola Jokic to make history by joining Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain and Larry Bird in the club of three MVPs in a row.

With these two, the supernatural seems very natural.

Dončić scores more and easier than anyone else in the league right now while Jokić still seems to be three strokes ahead of his opponents. If their minds have a lot to do with it, their physical attributes are not insignificant. The Slovenian leader is not as fast as his compatriot Goran Dragic could be nor as explosive as the phenomenal Ja Morant but, for a fullback, he is very tall and strong (2m01 for 105 kilos). The advantage is real, on both sides of the field. The Serbian pivot is not as powerful as Steven Adams or Joel Embiid, even less as leaping as Bam Adebayo for example, but the friend Niko still has 211 centimeters and 125 kilos on the floor. If they had more classic physiques – the average height for a man in Slovenia and Serbia is just over 180 centimeters – could they exploit their genius as well? Surely not ! It is also an essential aspect of their game and their genius: to use their physical attributes to perfection as soon as they give them an advantage. Luka never misses an opportunity to push a smaller and lighter point guard into position. He uses his body better than anyone to protect the ball, make contact and get fouls. He has it in his blood. The Joker is unplayable near the circle. He rolls up his defenders. His size and long arms make his little hooks indefensible. His weight and broad shoulders make him a rebounder.

It is these combinations of physical qualities, mental strength and hard work that lay the foundation for their success. Their genius does the rest. Everything else. By rare gestures, passes as new as they are effective, clutch baskets or even mammoth performances when the team needs it – in Dallas it is often – Luka Dončić and Nikola Jokić illuminate the basketball planet this year even more than the previous ones and probably still for a while. Because, next February, the Slovenian will be 24 years old (the 28th) and the Serb 28 years old (the 19th). The first is thus not yet really “in its prime” as they say and the second is there, but for several more years. The future is in their hands and it suits us well, brilliantly!

That’s it, that’s it… All that remains is for me to wish you all a Happy New Year! First health because it is the most important, in life as in the NBA, then success in all your projects. Those of Luka Dončić and Nikola Jokić are at the height of their genius, they are immense. They are and will be made of exceptional performances, records of all kinds and there is no doubt that they will be able to finish with ringed fingers.

It would be fantastic. Or just logical.

Alex’s post: Luka Dončić and Nikola Jokić, the two fantastić