Trail Blazers: Jusuf Nurkic out for rest of regular season

AP Photo/Steve Dykes

Jusuf Nurkic is having his moment.

In 20 games since the Nuggets traded him to the Trail Blazers, Nurkic has averaged 15.2 points 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.2 steals per game. And Portland has gone 14-6 — winning five straight and eight of nine — to surge into playoff position.

But all that momentum is coming to a crushing halt.

Jason Quick of CSN Northwest:

The Trail Blazers are still 1.5 games up on Denver for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot, and their best players are still Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Those guards can lead Portland into the postseason.

But who will help them? Portland is now extremely short-handed at center with Ed Davis and Festus Ezeli already out for the season. The Trail Blazers have little choice but to lean heavily on Meyers Leonard and Noah Vonleh and maybe experiment with super-small lineups.

The door is now open much wider for the Nuggets.