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Jusuf Nurkic Steps Up On Defense

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The Bosnian Beast’s contributions make a key difference for the Blazers.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers notched a much-needed victory over the Brooklyn Nets, and one key factor in the win was Jusuf Nurkic’s contributions on defense. According to Jamie Hudson of NBC Sports Northwest, Coach Terry Stotts acknowledged the difference Nurkic makes for the Trail Blazers.

“We’ve said all along how important he is defensively for us… He impacts the game. He had a good offensive night and that’s great but, we are a much better defensive team when he’s healthy and when he’s playing for us.”

For Nurkic, the priority is hanging in there with his teammates as the season gets tough.

“At this point, I don’t know if I need to talk about defense,” Nurk said. “[Even if] we have one good game defensively, they’re going to still talk about defense. So to me, we’ve got to stay together.”

Like some of his teammates, Nurkic likes it when the team has their back against the wall.

“I like the desperation for the win. We need the wins and we know — we can’t afford no more slips.”

It’s no surprise: when the Bosnian Beast steps up, the Blazers win.