Nikola Jokic has been dropping dimes ever since the Denver Nuggets opted to run their system through him on the squad’s Dec. 15 lineup swap, which inserted Jokic into the starting rotation. The move has paid dividends, but in the team’s victory over the Milwaukee Bucks Friday night Jokic took his game to a new level.

After missing three games to injury, Jokic recorded the first triple-double of his young career – 20 points, 11 assists and 13 rebounds – becoming the first Nuggets player to record a triple-double since Andre Iguodala did so in 2013.

Jokic returned to the Denver lineup Friday after missing three consecutive contests with a strained hip suffered in the fourth quarter in a win over Phoenix on Jan. 26. The Nuggets were 1-2 in his absence.

After the game head coach Michael Malone had nothing but praise for his sophomore center.

“It’s a testament to how talented he is and how much this team needs him,” coach Malone said. “This will be the first of many triple-doubles, but [it was a] terrific job by him.”

Jokic truly has been a dominant force since the beginning of the new year. In January he was borderline unstoppable, averaging 23.9 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per contest. His points and rebounds per game in January was good for top-10 among all power forwards and centers in the league.

To simplify it, the Joker has been really good.

Thanks to his recent slew of success, Jokic has put the Nuggets in position to contend for a spot in the NBA’s playoffs for the first time in three seasons. As it stands, the Nuggets are currently slotted in the eighth seed in the West.