Jusuf Nurkic has changed Portland’s season.
Before trading for him from Denver at the deadline, Portland was out of the playoffs, not playing any defense, and their offense had been stale and predictable. Nurkic came in pumped to get a chance (he was understandably behind Nikola Jokic in Denver), he brought a presence in the paint on both ends that the Trail Blazers lacked, and the result is Portland has vaulted back into the postseason — right past Nurkic’s old team in Denver. Nurkic has averaged 15.3 points and 10.5 rebounds a game, and his play inside has opened the game up for Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
How hot is Nurkic fever in Portland, not to mention his native Bosnia and Herzegovina?
So much so the band Dubioza kolektiv released a song, “Nurk Fever.”
Nurkic is now and forever the Bosnian Beast.