Nikola Jokic had like five whole minutes with which to get the last rebound he needed for a triple-double. For some of that time, he didn’t have the last assist, so maybe the urgency wasn’t quite there because of that, but still. That’s a lot of time, and it was only one rebound. Rebounds are the easiest stat for a bigman to get. Just reach up there and grab it.
Just saying, if it Russell Westbrook out there needing the rebound, you know he would’ve gotten it. Some way, some how, even if it meant telling Jerami Grant to tackle Steven Adams every time there was even a possibility of a rebound.
Unfortunately for Jokic’s narrative, he doesn’t seem to care about triple-doubles. He basically had a rebound stolen from him right before he got subbed out, and he didn’t even exasperatedly throw up his arms and then sulk to the bench while shaking his head. The crowd may have been chanting “M-V-P”, but how is he supposed to win the award when he doesn’t even want to achieve narrative-bolstering statistical feats? Winning games is all well and good, but Westbrook averaged a triple-double and won MVP even though his team won three games that year where he played.
Fortunately for Jokic’s narrative, the Nuggets have a bunch of national games where casual NBA fans can see what he’s all about. And for his sake, I hope they come away with the impression that he can average a 50-point triple-double.