NBA Rumor: Nikola Jokic Injury

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Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets’ leading scorer and emerging star center, rolled his left ankle in the first half against the Bulls on Thursday at the Pepsi Center and exited the game early. He did not return to the game after the team diagnosed him with a left ankle sprain. “I’ll go back and talk to our docs. Thank goodness it’s only a sprain,” Denver coach Michael Malone said. “Good thing is, he’s not an athletic big, so he doesn’t have to jump a lot.”

Jokic was helped to his feet and limped straight back to the locker room. The scare, though, that this could have been a significant injury, appears to be only that. Jokic is said to have a left hip strain. X-rays were negative, but Jokic, who led the Nuggets to a 127-120 victory over Phoenix on Thursday, will have an MRI on Friday. “It’s good news for us,” teammate Will Barton said. “He’s been playing out of this world for us; our best player. It would be tough to see him go down for a long time. I’m just happy he’s fine.”

The short-term outlook for Nuggets center Nikola Jokic’s sprained wrist isn’t great. He’ll likely at least be out the next three games, Nuggets coach Michael Malone said Saturday. Jokic missed his second consecutive game Saturday night. “Talking to Nikola, he wants to play right when he can catch the ball,” Malone said. “I think we’ll probably be a little more cautious than that on this road trip, maybe get it looked at again just to kind of see where it’s at once the swelling goes down.”
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May 13, 2021 | 5:03 am EDT Update

League could delay playoff games if there are positive tests

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That said, Jokic has been getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop for a lot longer than just this season. According to @atlhawksfanatic database of Last Two Minute Reports, Jokic has been on the wrong end of more bad calls than anyone else since 2015, which is as far back as the data goes. The chart below shows the players who have been disadvantaged the most from bad calls since the NBA started publicizing the Last Two Minute Reports.
He’s shooting three fewer attempts per game this season and three fewer 3-point attempts. “He has some guys out on the floor with him this year that we feel can help,” McMillan said. “He doesn’t have to put so much pressure on himself to be that scorer. He has weapons out on the floor with him and what he has to do is not put that pressure on himself to win the game himself. He has some guys who can help him do that.”