Despite his big line of stats, Nikola Jokic still fails with Serbia

A prominent member of the most scrutinized trio of the Euro, along with Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic was obviously expected at the turn this afternoon against Italy. On paper, the Joker did not disappoint and got away with a more than honorable performance (32/13/4). On the pitch, however, it’s a different story, since the pivot was ultimately unable to help his team stop the Italian surge. Yes, at the end of a lively match and a one-sided last quarter, it was indeed Italy who left with the victory (94-86), while Serbia took the door in this euro.

Yet among the contending teams or even favorites for the final victory, Serbia has just been slapped by Italy in the round of 16. This defeat marks the premature end of a disappointing Euro for the band at Nikola Jokic. A real blow for the Serbs as the workforce seemed to have all the weapons at its disposal to shine in the tournament. Yes, like what to count the best pivot in the world in its ranks, it is not always enough. Here, the great Jokic precisely, let’s talk about it. Overall very good since the start of this Euro, the Joker however seemed less dominant than other rather serious NBAers, Giannis and Luka headlining. So less dominant in the stats of course, but just as victorious since Serbia came out of the group stages undefeated. Moreover, the double MVP still proved that he could accelerate in sequences, a bit like his XXL performance against Israel. Yes, but now, despite all these fine words, the fact is that the pivot has once again failed to carry his team in a crucial match. Everything had however started well, and the Joker left on the basis of a game record by already compiling 19 pawns and 7 rebounds at halftime. Add to that that Serbia had a small lead (51-45) and everything seemed to line up for a second act like the first.

If Serbia has long seemed untouchable, Italy will however wake up in the second act to literally roll over the Serbian selection. On the side of Nikola Jokic, it’s a little radio silence, the pivot shines much less strongly than in the first half. Attention huh, the guy is still a monster of technique and returns some shots of which he alone has the secret, but does not however manage to help his team to pick up the score. Worse still, Niko is targeted in defense when the opportunity arises, even though the majority of Italy’s points come from behind the arc. In short, an avoidable ball loss later and Serbia, suffocated by the Italian embrace, suffocated to the point of dropping the match. So yes, Jokic has made his stats (32 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists at 57% shooting), yes Jokic was probably too lonely, but no, Jokic is not yet able to pull a team to the top, at least not with what he showed tonight. These criticisms, it is also quite regularly that the Joker faces them. How to explain that such a player cannot be able to take the game on his own when the situation becomes critical. Lack of leadership, style of play that does not lend itself to it or lack of experience in this kind of meeting, it is undoubtedly a good mix of all of this. Still, Serbia can now pack its bags and go back to bed, the rest of the Euro, it will be without it.

Moreover, speaking of the rest, the next step for Italy will therefore be the quarter-finals, which is more against our Blues. Double MVP as he is and despite his impressive line of stats, Nikola Jokic has once again failed to bring his team to a critical moment and will watch this match on TV, or not. This should not help the Joker’s relationship with the Serbian public, he who is already far from being a prophet in his country.


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