Nikola Jokic
Mar 9, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) in the third quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

NBA legend Charles Barkley thinks that Nikola Jokic has to dominate his direct opponent Deandre Ayton in order for the Denver Nuggets to win the series against the Phoenix Suns. “If Joker don’t dominate Ayton, Denver’s not gonna win this series, plain and simple,” Barkley said.

Ayton had 20 points and 10 rebounds against 22 and 9 from Jokic in Game 1 which was won by the Suns. According to Barkley, the Serbian center, who has just been named the league’s MVP, needs to win his battle.

Jokic has upped his game in the playoffs as he averaged 33 points, 10.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game during the first round series against the Portland Trail Blazers.