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Mom’s Favorite: Jusuf Nurkic is Dunking More this Season

Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic earned Mom’s Favorite honors this week for his improved finishing at the rim.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Each week, Team Mom Tara Bowen-Biggs highlights her favorites plays, players and other things that made the Trail Blazers fun to watch. Who is Mom’s Favorite this week? Did anyone get put in the dog house? What were your favorite things this week? Let us know in the comments below.

Week 5: November 18-24. Washington (W), New York Knicks (W), Milwaukee Bucks (L), Golden State Warriors (L)

Mom’s Favorite: Jusuf Nurkic dunks

The Trail Blazers suffered two blowout losses to end their six-game road trip. Of the 90 games played in the NBA this past week, the losses to the Bucks and the Warriors really stood out. Over the last seven days, the Blazers gave up the most second chance points to any opponent (29 against Milwaukee), they were second worst in allowing points in the paint (72 against the Bucks), and were in the bottom ten for points off turnovers (surrendering a eye-popping 25 to Golden State).

However, in that Golden State game there was a bright spot for Trail Blazers fans. The most satisfaction came to those who spent much of last year screaming “dunk it!” at our television screens when the Bosnian Beast approached the rim. Against the Warriors, Nurkic dunked the ball five times. In one game. For this encouraging effort, he is this week’s Mom’s Favorite.

Jusuf Nurkic attempted 65 total dunks in the 2017-18 NBA season. For comparison, Rudy Gobert, who missed 26 games, attempted 164 dunks. DeAndre Jordan attempted 234 with the Clippers last season.

Through 19 games last year, Nurkic has attempted 10 dunks. While still not a league-leader by any means, he has already attempted 30 this season. At 1.58 dunks per game, he is on pace to double his output from 2017-18. This week, he slammed home 7-8 attempts, making it his most prolific week of the season.

Here are all Nurkic’s successful slams.

Gold Star: Meyers Leonard

Meyers Leonard, though still not in the regular rotation, plays in more games than he sits. Despite unpredictable minutes, Leonard has been a consistent shooter. He shooting 53.1 percent from the field, 53.3 percent from beyond the arc and 93.8 percent from the free throw line. Those splits are among the best of his career. Leonard is far from a high-volume shooter, but his accuracy deserves recognition. This past week he shot 61.9 percent from the field, and 75 percent from distance on 5.3 attempts per game.

Honorable Mentions

Damian dunks: Any time Damian Lillard dunks it is further proof of his evolution as a finisher. He had a couple this week, including this one-handed jam after turning on the turbo boosters.

C.J. McCollum: I liked this specific play because the Blazers didn’t give up. Feels like there should be a column on the stat sheet for third chance points.

Congratulations to Damian Lillard for passing Terry Porter to become the 3rd leading scorer in franchise history. Guess whose record he’s coming for next? His name rhymes with: “LaNarcus Albridge”.

Evan Turner welcomes Moe Harkless back to the court. Also shout-out to Turner’s tunic.

Blazer’s social media: In my opinion, one of the Trail Blazers’ best off-season moves was bringing in Digital Content Manager Amara Baptist. The social team have hit the right notes since the Oregon Trail schedule release.

This felt like a particularly rough week on the trail. This tweet with a happy turkey covering the miserable score of the Milwaukee game made me laugh out loud.

To get the most out of Thanksgiving, Baptist followed up by replacing the ball with turkeys for this highlight reel:

Al-farouq Photo of the Week: I mean, of course.

That’s it for this edition of Mom’s Favorites. What were your favorite things this week? Let us know in the comments below!