Jusuf Nurkic has been good since being traded to the Blazers. He was a beast in the Bubble. But where has he gone?
When he plays good, everyone around him is better, Lillard’s defense is better with Nurkic on the court because the big man will call out the opposing team’s plays.
But, this season Nurkic has kind of disappeared for the Blazers.
There are times when he’ll be extremely good and he has his head in the game, and everything is going well for about three defensive plays. Then after that, he’ll just get lazy.
Terry Stotts and Damian Lillard have even lit into him multiple times this season. He still gets lazy sometimes.
And when he’s playing well, getting rebounds, blocking shots, and playing defense the Blazers are actually a good team. But how often has he done that this season?
Nurkic is only averaging 9 points and 7 rebounds through the first two games. You can’t use the fact that he’s recovering from injury as an excuse anymore because he was great in the bubble. He was posterizing seven-footers.
Not only that but in one game, he had a double double after one quarter of play.
So what is up with Nurkic? Has he put on weight? Has he lost interest in the team? Has he lost interest in basketball?
According to ESPN: he is listed at 7’0″ 290lbs, so he did add ten pounds from last season.
Here’s his recent instagram post:
In the caption, he says: “Don’t mistake my kindness for my weakness. The beast in me is sleeping, not dead.”
Well, it’s time for Nurkic to wake up the Beast. The Blazers and the city of Portland needs him if they want to have a shot at winning the title.
The city of Portland wants to feel that Nurk Fever.
Because while the Beast is sleeping, the Blazers have both Enes Kanter and Harry Giles who can play better defense than what Nurkic is right now.
If the Bosnian Beast doesn’t show up soon, should Terry Stotts sit him?
It is still early in the season, but if he doesn’t step up soon. It may force Stotts’s hand on either starting Kanter, or changing up the rotation.
But, if Nurkic wants to be the center then he needs to step up now. Start rebounding, boxing out, play defense, and block shots.