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Jusuf Nurkic Listed as Questionable, Declined Interview Requests

Blazers coach Terry Stotts confirmed that Nurkic practiced with the team today, but Nurkic did not talk to the press.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Blazer fans will continue to wait for more information about Jusuf Nurkic. After today’s practice, Terry Stotts met with the press and confirmed that Nurkic indeed practiced with the team. However, he is listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Golden State Warriors, with low back soreness, a right calf strain, and right oblique pain.

Terry Stotts said little about Nurkic’s injury status, other than his participation in practice. Nurkic already left the locker room before the media was allowed in. The press made at least one request to speak with Nurkic, but it was declined. As the Oregonian’s Joe Freeman reported:

Nurkic apparently suffered the injuries early in the third quarter of the Blazers’ Sunday night loss to the Utah Jazz, but it’s unclear exactly how and when. He left the locker room after the game before reporters were allowed in and then declined an interview request from The Oregonian/OregonLive following Tuesday’s practice.

Peter Socotch of NBC Sports Northwest also noted Nurkic’s absence.

Nurkic’s status is likely a game-time decision Wednesday night. He missed Portland’s previous game against the Warriors, a 111-104 loss on December 11.

Coach Lillard

Fresh off the Golden State coaching mini-controversy, Freeman wrote that Stotts handed the clipboard to the Blazers’ All-Star during practice today. Among the many interesting tidbits:

Then the coaching staff handed the clipboard to a surprised captain Damian Lillard and the scrimmage was suddenly in the hands of the players at the team’s practice facility in Tualatin.

”I was little bit frozen trying to think of what I wanted to draw up,” Lillard said. “Then I warmed up to it, drew a few plays. I think it’s pretty cool for coaches to challenge players mentally like that.”

Always up for playing against his hometown team, Lillard scored 39 in Portland’s December loss to the Warriors.