The Portland Trail Blazers’ star center, Jusuf Nurkic returned to the court for the first time since mid-January. His return was marked in style with a 112-105 victory over the short-handed Orlando Magic on Friday. The Bosnian will play an important part in all future games as he adds great defensive stability to the side.
Newly procured small forward Norman Powell proved his franchise right with a stellar show against Magic. Furthermore, he also commented on Nurkic’s return to the hardwood floor. According to Blazers’ insider Jamie Hudson, Powell said, “He [Nurkic] kind of reminds me of Marc Gasol.”
"I love him… I know he’s a very smart big, a high-IQ, always trying to look for his teammates… He kind of reminds me of Marc Gasol."
^^^ Norman Powell on playing with Jusuf Nurkic
— Jamie Hudson (@JamieHudsonNBCS) March 27, 2021
He continued, “I love him… I know he’s very smart big, a high-IQ, always trying to look for his teammates…and his ability to pass and looking for his teammates. So I’m excited.”
Powell and Jusuf Nurkic propel the Blazers to a comprehensive win
With Damian Lillard injured and out for the game, the responsibility to get a win fell on the rest of the team. However, the entire team took charge and made the game look simple.
Norman Powell finished with 22 points and 2 rebounds on his Portland debut after being traded by the Toronto Raptors. CJ McCollum started cooking in this game as he also racked up 22 points and 7 assists to his name.
On his return, Nurkic was put on a minutes restriction. However, he was limited to five-minute stretches after starting. The 26-year-old ended the game with eight points in the 19 minutes he played. In fact, he also helped his side by getting eight rebounds.
In the post-game press conference, Nurkic was happy about his performance. He said, “I think my wind was great. Obviously, the restriction was 20 minutes and we almost got there… I felt great out there.”
The Portland Trail Blazers are sixth in the Western Conference standings. At the moment, they are in contention for the playoffs. Further, with Lillard set to return in a couple of weeks, Terry Stotts and his men will look forward to performing well in the business end of the season.
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