Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic is showing incredible growth this season while working well with teammate Damian Lillard. In his weekly column, “10 Things I Like and Don’t Like About the NBA”, Zach Lowe of ESPN outlines how Nurkic functions well in the pick-and-roll, has become a more confident passer, and is finally finishing around the rim.
Lowe begins his analysis by declaring, “It’s possible Nurkic has been Portland’s second-best player this season.” He elaborates:
Considering his behemoth size, Nurkic has been shockingly timid around the rim most of his career. Over the past month, he has started plowing over and through help defenders. He finally realized how damned big he is! He also discovered his left hand!
Lowe also discusses Nurk’s dominance on the offensive glass, noting that the big man is, in fact, a beast when it comes to getting boards.
Nurkic is averaging 15.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per game for the Blazers in 2018-19, increases of 1.0 and 1.4 per game respectively from his 2017-18 performance. His increases per minute are similar.