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Jusuf Nurkic Eyeing Defensive Player of the Year Title

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The Blazer big man believes he can be the league’s best defensive player.

Portland Trail Blazers v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Lauren Bacho/Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic believes he can one day take the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) prize. The Blazers big man professed his dream of capturing the title of the league’s top defender after besting the Utah Jazz star and former two-time DPOY Rudy Gobert earlier this week.

“I am trying to put together a season staying healthy and being in shape. Do all the right things so I can be the Defensive Player of the Year. That is my goal in this league.”

“I really think I am capable of doing that. Obviously, with the guards we have in our normal lineup, there is not a lot of guys to protect the rim.”

“It’s great when you can impact the game in so many ways and that’s why I feel people underestimate me sometimes, I really feel that I’m the best defensive player on this team and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Nurkic recorded four blocks and three steals along with 11 points, 15 rebounds and six assists against the Jazz. He holds career averages of 1.3 blocks and 0.9 steals.

You can watch Nurkic discuss his defensive dream 30 seconds into the postgame press conference here.