Jusuf Nurkic suffered a fibular fracture Thursday night against Houston.
Denver traded the Bosnian Beast to Portland for Mason Plumlee, cash and a second-rounder in 2018 back in February. It was the first major trade move of the year, and the Blazers have benefitted greatly from the addition. Since coming over, Nurkic is averaging 15.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.0 blocks and has been a co-pilot to Damian Lillard as Portland has crawled back into the playoff picture.
They’re 14-6 since making the swap, and that’s bumped their record up to 37-38 overall. Currently, in the midst of a five-game winning streak, Portland is two games ahead of the Nuggets for the eighth seed after Charlotte dropped Denver on Friday night.
Without Nurkic, though, putting together a surprise playoff run just got a whole lot tougher. The Blazers are dangerous without him, but his added dynamic is something that’s such a challenge for other coaches to gameplan around. Not only is there Lillard and C.J. McCollum but having a point-center means those two can work off of the ball while attention is diverted to Nurkic.
He’s scheduled to be reevaluated in two weeks, which puts us right at the start of the postseason.
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