Nikola Jokic is one of the best offensive players in the league, and he won the 2020-21 MVP award for good reason. After all, he's a 7ft center that can play the role of a point guard, and he is also able to score from most areas of the court.
There is no doubt that Jokic is stellar on the offensive end of the court and that he puts up mind-boggling numbers. But he is widely viewed as a liability on the defensive end. While he isn't perfect on defense, Jokic has made some improvements on that end of the floor.
Draymond Green has recently revealed that his criticism helped Nikola Jokic improve his defense. Green revealed that the reigning MVP took his opinions well, and added that Jokic has "100%" gotten better at it.
It was a whole segment. I went at Jokic's defense. I'm like "If they're ever going to be a good team, he's the backline of the defense, he has to be good defensively". I showed 4 clips... I was very critical of him.
He came up to me that following year, he said something along the lines of like "I saw what you said about my defense or something." You're right or I appreciate it, something along those lines. He said I've gotten better... You 100% gotten better. I been watching you this year.
There is no question that Nikola Jokic may struggle on defense at times, but what matters here is that he is making a conscious effort to improve. The Denver Nuggets have been worse than usual this year, but that's mostly due to injuries rather than Jokic's porous defense.
We'll see if Nikola Jokic manages to make more improvements on that end in the future. It is likely that he'll never become a top-tier rim protector, but there are definitely some positives in his defensive game.