Short answers to simple questions speak to the tall order faced by teams devising game plans to stop Nikola Jokic.
An hour and a half before Jokic dropped 41 points with 17 rebounds in an April 5 loss to the Spurs, coach Gregg Popovich was asked whether it was more important to take away the pass from the reigning MVP or looks at the basket.
“I don’t know,” Popovich said. “I don’t think anyone’s figured that out. He’s a great one.”
Colleague Mark Medina posed a similar inquiry to Steve Kerr recently, asking whether the Nuggets center is more dangerous as a scorer or a passer.
“Yes,” Kerr said, laughing.
In all seriousness though, the world witnessed three MVP seasons simultaneously from Jokic, Joel Embiid, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. But only one walks away with the award this summer once the “Inside the NBA” crew makes the league’s announcement after what will likely end up as one of the closest MVP races since the 2000s, when players such as Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, Jason Kidd, Kevin Garnett and Steve Nash reigned supreme over the league.