Nikola Jokic Status: March 9 - Playing Tonight vs. Utah Jazz?

Jokic shines despite injury, eyes third MVP trophy.

by Nouman Rasool
Nikola Jokic Status: March 9 - Playing Tonight vs. Utah Jazz?
© Harry How/Getty Images

Denver Nuggets' star center Nikola Jokic is currently listed as probable for the upcoming showdown with the Utah Jazz on Saturday evening at Ball Arena, despite nursing an arm injury. The injury, described as a contusion to his right arm, appears to be a minor setback for Jokic, who has demonstrated remarkable resilience throughout the season, missing only a pair of games to date.

Jokic's MVP-Caliber Season

Affectionately known as "The Joker," Jokic is enjoying an exceptional season, reinforcing his status as a frontrunner for his third NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. His season averages stand at an impressive 26.0 points, 12.3 rebounds, 9.2 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.

Despite ranking 13th in the league for scoring, Jokic's contributions across the board are undeniable—he is third in rebounding, fourth in assists, and ranks second in Player Efficiency Rating (PER). In his most recent performance, Jokic notched his 20th triple-double of the season in a victory against the Boston Celtics, a team that previously held the best record in the league.

During this pivotal matchup, he tallied 32 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists, coupled with two steals, and shot an efficient 57.9% from the field. This performance underscored the defending champions' prowess, making a significant statement against a top contender.

Jokic's physicality in the paint often results in him enduring numerous scratches and hits each game, leading to frequent appeals for foul calls. The exact circumstances leading to his current arm injury remain unclear, though it is speculated to have occurred during the win over the Celtics.

Over his career, Jokic has faced the Utah Jazz 30 times, averaging 19.0 points, 10.2 rebounds, 7.2 assists, and 1.2 steals in roughly 30.7 minutes per contest. With a shooting accuracy of 54.6% from the field, 34.1% from the three-point line, and 80.7% from the free-throw line in these encounters, Jokic has consistently been a formidable opponent.

Despite this, he holds a 12-18 record against the Jazz, marking a competitive rivalry highlighted by his career-high 47 points against them on January 31, 2021, in Denver. As the Nuggets prepare to face the Jazz, all eyes will be on Jokic, who is expected to play if cleared before the game, continuing his pursuit of excellence in what could be another MVP-caliber season.

Nikola Jokic Utah Jazz