In a surprising turn of events, two-time MVP Nikola Jokic shared his wisdom with rookie Chet Holmgren after the Denver Nuggets dominated the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 128-95 victory. Jokic, known for his unique frame and skillset, believes that Holmgren needs to emulate his approach to succeed in the NBA.
“He’s a really talented guy, but this is his first year,” Jokic stated. “He’s still learning everything: the game, how quick it is, where he has an advantage, where he has a disadvantage. I think he needs experience. I think he needs to be a little bit fatter, to be honest. But yes, he has a talent that is unique.”
While Jokic’s advice may come across as unconventional, it highlights an area of improvement for Holmgren. Even during his time at Gonzaga, the 7-foot-1 rookie struggled with his weight. Despite gaining 13 pounds in the past year, Holmgren remains one of the leanest big men in the league. While his slender frame provides him with flexibility, it poses a challenge when facing powerful centers like Jokic.
This was evident in their recent matchup, as Jokic effortlessly maneuvered past Holmgren for two easy layups within the first minute of the game. By the end of the blowout victory, Jokic amassed an impressive stat line of 28 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists on 12-of-16 shooting from the field.
Despite Holmgren’s own success, scoring 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, it’s clear that he will struggle against certain opponents until he becomes physically stronger. Nevertheless, he has already showcased his defensive prowess with seven blocks in a recent victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In conclusion, Nikola Jokic’s guidance and his shared experience as an MVP can greatly benefit Chet Holmgren in his development as an NBA player. By focusing on building his strength, Holmgren can overcome his current physical limitations and establish himself as a formidable force in the league.