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Nurkic Out For The Remainder Of The Regular Season

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Just as it seemed Portland had earned the right to celebrate a little, as so often it does in the Pacific Northwest, the rain has come to strike that notion.

Oregonlive and other sources reported Jusuf Nurkic suffered a “nondisplaced fibular fracture.” This news couldn’t have come at much worse of a time for the Trail Blazers.

After a red-hot March in which Portland went 13-3, thanks in no small part to the Bosnian big man, they currently sit in the 8th seed in the West – just two games above the Denver Nuggets.

While no odds makers were predicting Portland would be able to make it past Golden State in the first round of the playoffs anyway, this injury news could inhibit their chances of making the playoffs to even have that opportunity.

Nurkic has been playing great basketball since becoming a Trail Blazer. In 20 games with the team, he’s averaging 15.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.9 blocks per contest.

It turned out that Nurkic had sustained the injury in his remarkable revenge game against the Nuggets last Tuesday when he scored 33, grabbed 16 boards, and had three blocks, and still played through a tough win against the Rockets on Thursday.

Knowing that makes Nurkic’s teammate Damian Lillard’s comment, “He’s a tough dude,” seem like the understatement of the year.

Lillard remained optimistic though, adding, “It’s disappointing to lose such a huge piece. But just because we lose a guy doesn’t mean it’s going to stop. You’ve got a keep going.”

Noah Vonleh will look to try and help fill the void, and did well in Nurkic’s first missed game Saturday against the Suns. Vonleh managed 12 points and 13 boards in the victory while playing 35 minutes.

Portland’s schedule to wrap up the year features two games each against Utah and Minnesota, as well as a matchup with San Antonio before ending the regular season April 12th against New Orleans. To go along with their two-game lead over Denver, they also own the tiebreaker should the teams end up with matching records come season’s end.

About Brandon Wentz

Mayor of the borough of Mt. Carbon, Pennsylvania. Disappointed fan of the Phoenix Suns. Humble narcissist. Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/thebighonch

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