The 2022-23 NBA season is still a ways away, but many of the Portland Trail Blazers players have kept busy, honing their crafts across different leagues. In a friendly preparation matchup for EuroBasket 2022 earlier today against Estonia, longtime Portland big Jusuf Nurkic was among those that stood out in the BasketNews recap.
Representing his home country of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the multifaceted center showcased his three-point stroke, tallying up a final line of 18 points and nine rebounds, all while shooting a perfect 3-3 from long range.
Nurkic, who averaged 15.0 points per game and a career-best 11.1 rebounds last season with the Blazers, has looked to increase his range in each of his last two seasons. After hitting just five three-pointers (on 52 attempts) over his first six seasons, he’s upped the ante, draining a respectable 27-of-86 (31.4 percent) in 2020-21 and 2021-22.
Digging a bit deeper into his recent box scores, Nurkic has already let seven three-pointers fly over a two-game span, hitting on 58.3 percent of them — sample size considered — while averaging 18.0 points per game.
Without drawing too deeply into it, the fact that he’s hitting with that level of accuracy and volume overseas could be a positive precursor to build on next season.
It’s said in the report, though, that Nurkic sat the full duration of the fourth quarter by the “coach’s decision,” as Bosnia and Herzegovina looked to make a comeback. Keeping notes on the rest of the game, Nurkic’s 18-point performance was second only to former Brooklyn Nets forward and teammate Dzanan Musa (21 points) in their 101-89 loss.