Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic Got This Huge Compliment From Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O'Neal, Shaq, Shaquille O'Neal Lyft

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Nikola Jokic played with grit in Game 7 for the Denver Nuggets.

The Serbian big man messed around and got a triple double in the Nuggets’ 90-86 win over the San Antonio Spurs.

With a 21 point, 15 rebound, 10 assists stat line on Saturday at Pepsi Center, Jokic helped Denver advance to Round 2 of the NBA Playoffs, where they’ll face Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers.

Last night on Inside The NBA, NBA Hall of Famer and TNT analyst, Shaquille O’Neal spoke glowingly of Jokic and the Nuggets.

Rightly so!

Per Bleacher Report:

The Nuggets increased their win totals in each of the past four seasons, taking the experience from being eliminated from playoff contention on the final day of the 2017-18 regular season to winning 54 games and a Northwest Division title this year.

Despite entering the Western Conference playoffs as the No. 2 seed, these Nuggets always seemed to have something missing. They went a combined 2-6 against the Warriors and Houston Rockets in the regular season.

With that determination, Shaq labeled Jokic a Baby Superstar.

That’s high praise and not surprising.

Charles Barkley spoke well of Jokic back in December.

“I told you, I’m all in on the Denver Nuggets,” he said.

“The Joker (Nikola Jokic) should be the front runner for MVP,” he said.

“I told you that a month ago.”

Reggie Miller was in studio that night; fillng in for an absent Shaq. During the discussion, Miller said that he disagreed with Barkley and that Jokic ‘can’t be a front runner, but could be in the discussion.’

The Ringer’s Dan Devine wrote last month that Denver looked like the second-best team in the West at various times this season:

“But Denver’s struggles to contain elite high-octane, high-volume scorers like [James] Harden, Stephen Curry, and Klay Thompson loom large. Denver doesn’t have to pitch shutouts to win in the postseason, but it will have to keep opposing gunners from putting up crooked numbers. As good as they’ve looked defensively at times, the Nuggets’ reliance on a 7-footer as the heart of their offense poses problems when dealing with opposing attacks that can spread the floor and target plodding defenders in space.”

Nonetheless, Nikola Jokic has support from former players and NBA personalities.

“I have this debate with people all the time about the Denver Nuggets,” NBA writer, Chris Sheridan told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.

“I love the Nuggets, I love Nikola Jokic. If he keeps it up I think he’s an MVP candidate. But when I say that people question and say that he’s not on the highlights. They’re not known, but if they win ten in a row and come in first place in the west people will notice. The Nuggets are a pretty good team and if they win the Western Conference, you have to give consideration to Nikola Jokic as the MVP.”

NBA Hall of Famer, Tracy McGrady echoed similar sentiments during the regular season on ESPN The Jump with Rachel Nichols.

McGrady believes that Jokic is having a spectacular season, but is not quite there to win it, just yet!

“Their big man is just phenomenal,” McGrady said of Jokic.

“He is a candidate for MVP, absolutely!”

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