Throughout the early part of the 2022-23 season, the NBA MVP conversation has centered on players like Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum and Dallas Mavericks phenom Luka Dončić.
It seemed like Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokić was being left out of the discussion, but his performance on Sunday against the Charlotte Hornets reminded everyone why he was named MVP in each of the past two seasons.
Jokić had a monster triple-double with 40 points, 27 rebounds and 10 assists to propel the Nuggets to a 119-115 win at Ball Arena. The 27-year-old grabbed 20 boards in the first half alone and shot 13-of-26 from the field in the victory. It was his second 40-point outing in his past three games.
NBA Twitter was blown away by Jokić's performance on Sunday:
Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon
Nikola Jokic finishes with a 40-27-10 line. <br><br>Wilt Chamberlain is the only other player in NBA history to have as many points, rebounds and assists in a game. He did it four times. <a href="https://t.co/pHS258B7K4">https://t.co/pHS258B7K4</a> <a href="https://t.co/T06Fp88tty">pic.twitter.com/T06Fp88tty</a>
Shane Young @YoungNBA
Really hope Nikola Jokić wins a third consecutive MVP. There was so much negativity surrounding his last two seasons and pure ignorance when the discussion turned into "advanced stats are stupid, watch the game" nonsense.<br><br>He's one of the most impactful bigs ever, full stop.
The Nuggets opened the month of December with three straight losses, leading many to question whether they can compete against the elite teams in the Western Conference. However, Denver has reeled off wins in four of its past five games, and Jokić has been a major reason why.
After a somewhat slow start to the season, the Serbian seems to have found a groove in recent weeks. During this month, he's averaging 29.6 points, 11.6 rebounds and 9.1 assists on 63.0 percent shooting from the field.
Jokić will look to keep up his dominance when the Nuggets (18-11) host the Memphis Grizzlies (19-10) in a marquee primetime matchup on Tuesday night.