Portland center Jusuf Nurkic leaves game with fractured right wrist
This is troubling news for a Portland team that is not the same when he is off the court.
Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic fractured his right wrist on a fall in the third quarter of Portland’s eventual loss to Indiana.
Jusuf Nurkić (right wrist fracture) will not return.— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) January 15, 2021
Coach Stotts on Jusuf Nurk's fractured right wrist:— Jamie Hudson (@JamieHudson_) January 15, 2021
"It's very disappointing for him and for us."
"It's a big setback for both him and us."
There currently is no timetable for his return.
Nurkic is averaging 10.3 points and 7.6 rebounds a game, but the raw numbers don’t do justice to his importance to the team. He is a stong screen-setter for Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, he is a good roll man, his passing is sharp and keeps the ball moving, and the offense just flows better with him in. On the other end of the court, he is a defensive anchor in the paint.
Portland is 4.5 points per 100 possessions better when he is on the court this season. Nurkick’s value was really shown last season when he missed much of the season following leg surgery and Portland barely made the postseason without him.
In the short term, expect more Enes Kanter and Harry Giles.
Portland, currently 7-5 and sitting as the sixth seed in the West. It will need to keep its head above water in a deep conference until Nurkic can return.