The swell of praise for the Portland Trail Blazers’ impressive start to the season is continuing. Adam Fromal of Bleacher Report hands Portland only one of his four A+ grades for the first month of the season, thanks to the Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic pairing.
For Nurkic, averaging a double-double right now with 15.2 points and 10.9 rebounds, he’s earning the extension he signed this summer:
Jusuf Nurkic still has some areas for improvement—tunnel vision with the ball and the occasional foul trouble chief among them—but his game has grown on both ends of the floor.
For Lillard, he’s putting up an MVP-esque season. Throw Lillard, Nurkic and CJ McCollum together, and they’re giving teams real trouble:
With Lillard, CJ McCollum and Nurkic on the floor, per PBPStats.com, Rip City is outscoring opponents by 14.8 points per 100 possessions. That’s the biggest reason, among many, that these Blazers have climbed all the way to the top of the Western Conference pecking order in the early going.