Last night was an interesting occasion for both Denver and Portland, as each team debuted its new players following the trade earlier this week. Unfortunately, both teams played at the same time as Jusuf Nurkic and Portland were visiting Utah while Mason Plumlee and the Nuggets hosted Minnesota.
Like Denver, Portland was unable to to come up with a win as the Jazz held on in the final game before the break. However, in his 21 minutes off the bench Nurkic stood out compared to the rest of the Trail Blazer squad and really impressed in the first game with his new team.
Nurkic scored 13 points on an efficient 5-for-5 shooting night, and even scored a left- handed layup on a beautiful spin move. He also grabbed seven boards, had three steals, one assist and one block. Most impressive was his +18 on the night, while the rest of the Blazers were deeply in the negative.
So far it looks like a change of scenery has done well for the Bosnian Beast, and let’s hope he continues to mesh well with his new team (as long as Portland doesn’t overtake Denver for the final playoff spot).