Torrey Craig was the rare defensive-minded player in the very-offensive-oriented Nuggets-Trail Blazers series.
And now he’s out with a bruised nose. (Don’t watch the above video if you’re squeamish about blood. There’s a lot on those towels.)
Denver was using Craig to defend Damian Lillard. There’s no stopping Lillard, but Craig made the Portland star work.
In Game 2 tonight, the Trail Blazers also hid Lillard on Craig, shifting Maurice Harkless onto Jamal Murray.
So, this injury could increase offensive output exponentially – by forcing the Nuggets to replace Craig with a more capable scorer (Will Barton, Malik Beasley), which could make Portland reconfigure its planned defense.
Harkless also limped back to the locker room, leaving both teams without their starting small forwards.