The Portland Trail Blazers limped into the All-Star break with a 111-88 loss to the Utah Jazz tonight. Part of this was due to a seemingly-slowed and hurting Damian Lillard plus injuries to Al-Farouq Aminu and Evan Turner. Another part of it was, well...Trail Blazers. If you want to see a few of the highlights, check out our video review. The most striking part of that recap—and the only one that really matters to Trail Blazers fans at this point—was the performance of Jusuf Nurkic. Portland’s brand new center played 21 minutes, shooting 5-5 from the field on three close shots, an 8-footer, and a 20-foot jumper. He scored 13 points with 7 rebounds, 3 steals, a block, and 4 turnovers.
Rather than belabor yet another loss with an extended recap (Hint: the Blazers allowed the Jazz 52% shooting from the field and 50% from the arc) let’s open up the question of the hour...or at least the All-Star Break. Do you think Nurkic will stick with the Blazers long term, earning significant minutes if not the starting nod? If so, what kind of impact do you foresee him having as an individual and how much (or little) will that end up helping the team?
You’re in on Game 1 of the Nurk Era. Make your predictions for posterity here.