There are so many components that go into making Nikola Jokic the greatest passing big man of all-time. There’s the super computer brain to see passing lanes no one else would even consider. There’s the incredible touch with either hand to place the ball directly into his teammates’ shooting pockets. There’s also a certain audacity that comes with knowing you’re the best player in the world at the peak of your powers. That’s the space Jokic occupies right now.
Jokic is still a top-5 MVP candidate in our latest rankings despite getting off to a little bit of a “slow start” by his standards through the first ~40 percent of the season. The Denver Nuggets big man displayed the type of special passing skill only he has during the first quarter of his team’s game against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday. As Jamal Murray fed Jokic the ball in the pick-and-roll, the superstar center fired a one-handed touch pass to the corner for a wide open Peyton Watson three-pointer. Watch the play here:
Jokic knew he was trying a touch pass as soon as Murray released his entry pass. The two-time MVP barely needed to touch the ball to put a pass right on the money, where Watson hit the shot.
It has to be so nice for a young, developing player like Watson to start his career next to a historic talent like Jokic. The big man just makes the game easier for all of his teammates, and this is a prime example.
There are some amazing passers in the NBA right now, from Tyrese Haliburton to Luka Doncic to Trae Young to LeBron James, but I don’t think there’s another player in the league who can make a touch pass like the one Jokic hit Watson with. This is his specialty, and it’s part of why he’s the best player alive.