Prior to missing time due to plantar fasciitis, Portland Trail Blazers’ center was coming up clutch among centers around the league according to Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report. Hughes notes that Nurkic was third behind Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers and Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets.
Nurkic has played only 71 clutch minutes, and his plantar fasciitis means he’s unlikely to close the volume gap between himself and the two big men ahead of him.
Remarkably, though, Nurkic is plus-37 in those minutes. Considering Portland’s sub-.500 record and negative point differential (not to mention Damian Lillard’s own prolonged injury absence), that’s no small feat.
Nurkic is shooting 63.3 percent from the field in high-leverage situations and sits fourth in the league with 36 clutch boards, 15 of which have come on the offensive end.
It’s unfortunate that Nurkic is likely to miss signficant time due to his foot — nothing says spring like a case of Nurk Fever, after all.