Tag: Jusuf Nurkic

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets

Nuggets’ Jusuf Nurkic will be ready near start of season. Or soon after.

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Jusuf Nurkic was thrust into the starting center role for the Nuggets last season when they traded Timofey Mozgov to the Cavaliers — and he showed a lot of promise.

He’s a rookie, he was raw, and his per-game numbers were as well, but his per-minute numbers showed real promise — 15.3 points, 13.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per-36 minutes. He showed some real defensive aptitude — the Nuggets were 10.6 points per 100 possessions better when he was on the floor. This is a guy who could develop into a quality NBA center.

But the Nuggets may not have him at 100 percent to start the season. From the Denver Post.

One Nuggets player missing out on (EuroBasket) is center Jusuf Nurkic. The big man was set to play for Bosnia and Herzegovina, but knee surgery in late spring put an end to that. Nurkic has been rehabbing the knee in Denver with hopes of being ready when the season starts or soon thereafter.

Nurkic has work to do this coming season. He needs to reduce his foul rate, he seemed to struggle with the speed of the game at times. He needs to become more efficient when he does shoot, because beyond three feet he doesn’t hit 40 percent of his shots.

But there is promise, which is why if he’s not 100 percent they need to be patient. It’s about the long term, not winning games in November.

Nets’ Bojan Bogdanovic rolls ankle readying for EuroBasket, says he’ll be fine

Atlanta Hawks v Brooklyn Nets - Game Four
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The Nets are going to count on Bojan Bogdanovic this season, he likely starts on the wing next to Joe Johnson and will get heavy minutes.

Part of Bogdanovic’s off-season program is to play in EuroBasket with his native Bosnia and Herzegovina (along with fellow NBA players Jusuf Nurkic and Mirza Teletovic). But playing in real games means an increased injury risk and that befell the Nets two guard.

It’s nothing serious, he tweeted.

This is not enough for the Nets to pull an Alexis Ajinca, but Brooklyn will be watching. The injury shouldn’t linger into training camp if he doesn’t aggravate it.

Bosnia and Herzegovina open EuroBasket play Sept. 5 against Poland. Bogdanovic and his teammates are expected to have a tough time advancing out of the round robin play to the knockout tournament, they are in a group with France and Russia but more realistically would need to beat Finland or Israel to advance.

Nuggets GM Tim Connelly: Denver will be better than last season

Denver Nuggets Emmanuel Mudiay Press Conference

The Nuggets won 30 games last year.

They did it with Ty Lawson leading the team in starts, Arron Afflalo ranking fourth and Timofey Mozgov fifth.

Denver traded  Mozgov (to the Cavaliers) and Afflalo (to the Trail Blazers) during the season and Lawson (to the Rockets) this summer. In their place, Denver added rookies Emmanuel Mudiay and Nikola Jokic and reserves Nick Johnson and Joey Dorsey this offseason.

The Nuggets also hired Michael Malone to replace Brian Shaw as coach.

Does that add up to an improved team?

Denver general manager Tim Connelly, via Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post:

“I fully expect to be better than last year,” Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly said. “I don’t want to put any concrete barometer on what’s good or bad this year. But we’ll be better.”

I generally like the Nuggets’ offseason. Mudiay was an excellent pick, and it was smart to renegotiate and extend Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari. Paying those players more now, when Denver had cap space to burn, will provide helpful savings on the back end of their deals. Once the Nuggets decided they needed to trade Lawson, getting a first-rounder and a couple decent players was a solid return.

That doesn’t translate to an immediately improved team, though.

Lawson, issues considered, was still a very good point guard. Mudiay showed tremendous promise during summer league, but he’s still a rookie at a difficult position.

Maybe Malone coaches better than Shaw. Maybe Gallinari stays healthy and builds on his late-season success. Maybe Jusuf Nurkic continues to develop. Maybe Kenneth Faried defends better.

In fact, I’d consider each of those likely (especially Malone coaching better than Shaw). But relying on a rookie point guard, even a talented one, could undermine all of it.

And that’s fine.

The Nuggets are in a better place with Mudiay. It’s OK if that means fewer wins next season, as long as Mudiay progresses throughout the season.

There’s nothing wrong with a general manager knowingly overstating his team’s ability. That happens all the time, and it generally serves just to excite fans.

But there is a problem with a general manager unknowingly overstating his team’s ability. That often leads to more mistakes down the road.

The Nuggets have struggled to set a direction in recent years, so there’s definitely potential for this to be problematic. There’s also potential for them to exceed expectations, making Connelly’s intent irrelevant.

But the reasonable projection has Denver winning about 30 games again – maybe a few more, but maybe a few less.

Andrew Wiggins only unanimous All-Rookie first-teamer, Jordan Clarkson tops Marcus Smart for final first-team spot

Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Clarkson

Andrew Wiggins (who won Rookie of the Year), Nikola Mirotic, Nerlens Noel and Elfrid Payton were presumed All-Rookie first-team locks.

It seemed the final spot would come down to Jordan Clarkson and Marcus Smart – and the Lakers guard won out.

All-Rookie first team (first votes-second votes-points)

  • Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota (130-0-260)
  • Nikola Mirotic, Chicago (128-2-258)
  • Nerlens Noel, Philadelphia (125-2-252)
  • Elfrid Payton, Orlando (121-8-250)
  • Jordan Clarkson, L.A. Lakers (74-52-200)

All-Rookie second team (first votes-second votes-points)

  • Marcus Smart, Boston (28-86-142)
  • Zach LaVine, Minnesota (22-91-135)
  • Bojan Bogdanovic, Brooklyn (7-93-107)
  • Jusuf Nurkic, Denver (3-91-97)
  • Langston Galloway, New York (7-58-72)

Other players receiving votes, with point totals (first-place votes in parentheses):

Rodney Hood, Utah, 54 (1); Tarik Black, L.A. Lakers, 28; K.J. McDaniels, Houston, 20; Dante Exum, Utah, 17 (3); Jabari Parker, Milwaukee, 13; Mitch McGary, Oklahoma City, 9; Aaron Gordon, Orlando, 5 (1); Spencer Dinwiddie, Detroit, 4; Jerami Grant, Philadelphia, 4; Kostas Papanikolaou, Houston, 4; T.J. Warren, Phoenix, 4; Damjan Rudez, Indiana, 3; Tyler Ennis, Milwaukee, 2; Joe Ingles, Utah, 2; JaKarr Sampson, Philadelphia, 2; James Ennis, Miami, 1; Cory Jefferson, Brooklyn, 1; Tyler Johnson, Miami, 1; Shabazz Napier, Miami, 1; Nik Stauskas, Sacramento, 1; James Young, Boston, 1

Overall, the teams are pretty spot on, and the top vote-getters after the second team are deserving of strong consideration.

But get further down the list of players who got votes? Someone has to explain to me how anyone could consider many of these players a top-10 rookie. Strangely, a quick glance of the voting breakdown shows few examples of homerism in these outliers.

Andrew Wiggins wins Rookie of the Year, Nikola Mirotic finishes second

Rudy Gay, Andrew Wiggins

It’s been a turbulent year for Andrew Wiggins — being selected No. 1 overall by the Cavs, then being traded to Minnesota for Kevin Love before having played a single NBA game, then excelling on a Timberwolves team that finished with the NBA’s worst record. Now, Wiggins has one positive for the season: he’s won Rookie of the Year. Not much of a surprise to anyone, but the league made it official on Thursday afternoon.

Wiggins received 110 of the 130 available first-place votes, with Nikola Mirotic also receiving 14 first-place votes and Nerlens Noel and Elfrid Payton each getting three. Marcus Smart, Jusuf Nurkic and Jordan Clarkson also got votes.

Here’s the complete voting breakdown:

1. Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves (110 first-place votes, 17 second-place votes, 3 third-place votes)

2. Nikola Mirotic, Chicago Bulls (14 first-place votes, 81 second-place votes, 22 third-place votes)

3. Nerlens Noel, Philadelphia 76ers (3 first-place votes, 22 second-place votes, 60 third-place votes)

4. Elfrid Payton, Orlando Magic (3 first-place votes, 8 second-place votes, 40 third-place votes)

5. Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics (1 second-place vote, 3 third-place votes)

6. Jusuf Nurkic, Denver Nuggets (1 second-place vote)

7. Jordan Clarkson, Los Angeles Lakers (2 third-place votes)