Ranking Nikola Jokic’s best passes since another triple-double in Nuggets’ win over Grizzlies

Even after back-to-back MVPs, Nikola Jokic finds new ways to surprise every night. Against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday, he did it with his passing, dishing out a string of stunning dimes en route to another triple-double in the Denver Nuggets’ 105-91 victory.

Jokic finished with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists to record his sixth triple-double of the season, which ties him with Luka Doncic for the league lead. Along the way, he led the Nuggets to first place in the Western Conference at 19-11. The win gave them the tiebreaker over the Grizzlies.

Perhaps the greatest passer the league has ever seen, Jokic has a career highlight reel that would make any player jealous. He added to that on Tuesday with a season-opening contender when he dropped a between-the-legs feed to a Bruce Brown interception. That was the show-stopper, but it was only one passage from a night full of Jokic magic. In honor of his sixth triple-double, check out Jokic’s six best feeds from one of his most complete passing games of the season.

6. A cross-court laser to Gordon

We’ll start with a Jokic classic, the cross-court laser. Rising on the elbow, he looks at the defense and picks it apart. This time, he catches Dillon Brooks napping every bit of the ball and sends a one-handed pass to Gordon in the opposite corner. Brooks is slow to react, which gives Gordon the step he needs to get to the basket for the slam.

5. Give-and-Go with Brown

Jokic is such a formidable passer in part because he’s always thinking several steps ahead. This play from the second quarter is a perfect example. Before he even catches the ball from Bruce Brown in the post, he knows there’s room in the middle of the floor and is ready to drive his guard to the basket with an unusual bounce.

4. Threading the needle at the break

There may be no more aesthetically pleasing pass than a long-range bounce pass through traffic. Jokic gave up one early in the third quarter while out of stoppage. As he brought the ball up the floor, he spotted Gordon running ahead and took a bounce pass in his stride for a one-and-one slam.

3. Over-the-shoulder for a slam

Jokic is so big and strong that if you leave him one-on-one in the post, he will bully anyone guarding him, even someone as big as Steven Adams. Fold him up, though, and he’ll easily find the open man, even if he’s not looking. That’s exactly what he did in this game, as he threw a dime over the shoulder to Gordon for a slam.

2. No peeking around the corner

One of Jokic’s best passes of the night didn’t even count as an assist. Late in the first quarter, he went to work on the elbow, going back and forth before spotting Christian Braun in the corner. He flicked the ball to him without looking, putting enough to slip it through the fingers of Ja Morant. However, the Grizzlies guard took a small touch, which prevented Jokic from finishing with 14 assists.

1. The passage of the year?

Of all Jokic’s qualities as a passer, creativity may be the most important. Either way, it’s definitely the most fun. That between-the-legs feed to Brown was the highlight of Jokic’s experience. How many other players in the league would have even considered attempting that pass, let alone been able to pull it off so smoothly.

Games like this are why Joker and the Nuggets laugh more often than not.

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