Small-ball in the NBA -- it’s a thing and it’s most likely here to stay for a while. Yes, the league has been moving towards the smaller lineups in recent years. So, the back to the basket, enforcer type of centers, almost seem to be a novelty.
The Golden State Warriors started this trend. Just ask Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic, who admitted it was the Warriors, not the Rockets to make such a lineup a success.
Nurkic also isn’t concerned about Warriors Draymond Green’s latest comment on centers around the league.
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon]:
Following the Rockets Game 1 win over the Lakers, Green mentioned on Twitter that with the expectation of Joel Embiid, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Nikola Jokic, all other centers around the association should be concerned about their value if the center-less Rockets take the series. (FYI, Robert Covington is Houston’s tallest starter at 6’7”).
Nurkic was not on Green’s expectation list, however.
And the big fella responded with:
Yes, the Warriors indeed have had a lot of success without a traditional center. Nurk is definitely right about that one.
Nurkic is also correct in saying:
He’s going to be just fine.
After not participating in an NBA game for 16 months due to a gruesome leg injury, the Trail Blazers starting center averaged 17.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in the eight seeding games of the NBA’s restart in Orlando.
Not too shabby for a big man, right, Draymond?
Plus, Nurkic has already showcased his value in Portland. after signing a four-year, $48 million contract with $40 million guaranteed prior to the 2018-19 season.
Green’s comments are probably accurate when it comes to some centers’ value if Houston were to beat Los Angeles. But here in Rip City, we know that Nurk doesn’t need to be worried about the winner of the Rockets-Lakers series.