Portland Trail Blazers rumors about Jusuf Nurkic playing against the Golden State Warriors have become a hot topic as the 2017 NBA Playoffs begin. Nurkic joined the Blazers right before the NBA trade deadline and has become an important piece of the team. Now the starting center for the Blazers, Nurkic might be a key player to the Blazers finding any success against the Warriors in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
A report by NBA.com relayed the information that Jusuf Nurkic had suffered a displaced fracture in his right fibula. Nurkic was forced to miss the final two weeks of the regular season, but quite a few Portland Trail Blazers rumors still dealt with the possibility that he could return in time for the postseason. Now Game 1 of the Blazers vs. Warriors series has arrived and fans are wondering if Jusuf Nurkic will play tonight.
Another report by NBA analyst Jason Quick revealed that the Blazers are listing Nurkic as questionable to play in Game 1 on Sunday (April 16). The team didn’t rule him out either, basically giving him a 50 percent chance of playing in the opening game of the series. There is still a lot of mystery surrounding the Nurkic injury, with some people hinting that some gamesmanship is going on between the Blazers and Warriors.
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr was asked about the status of Jusuf Nurkic for Sunday and what he felt about the secrecy within the response from the Blazers. His response, as reported by NBA analyst Janie McCauley, is one of the reasons he has so many fans around the NBA.
“I would do the same thing, by the way.”
It may take until game time on Sunday (12:30 p.m. PT) for the final Jusuf Nurkic injury report to come out. It’s not an understatement to say that the result of the Blazers vs. Warriors playoff series may hinge on whether or not the Nurkic injury has healed. If he can start at center for the Blazers, the team would stand a better chance at competing against the defending Western Conference champions. If Meyers Leonard is the starting center, though, the Blazers might have a tough time protecting the rim against a team like the Warriors.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Nurkic was acquired from the Denver Nuggets right before the NBA trade deadline in a deal for center Mason Plumlee. It was actually designed as a trade to deal Plumlee before he hits free agency and the Nuggets sent the Blazers a 2017 first-round pick to acquire him. Instead of the trade turning out in favor of the Nuggets, Nurkic helped the Blazers steal the No. 8 playoff seed away from them.
In 20 games with the Blazers, Jusuf Nurkic’s stats made fans quickly forget about Mason Plumlee. Nurkic averaged 15.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.9 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game. Those are almost All-Star level numbers for the big man, and it shows how good he could possibly be for the team during the 2017-18 NBA season. That bright future is a reason why the Blazers might not want to rush him back too quickly from the leg injury.
Blazers Vs. Warriors Playoff Schedule
Game 1 – Sun. April 16 Portland at Golden State, 12:30 p.m., ABC
Game 2 – Wed. April 19 Portland at Golden State, 7:30 p.m., TNT
Game 3 – Sat. April 22 Golden State at Portland, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 4 – Mon. April 24 Golden State at Portland, 7:30 p.m., TNT
Game 5 – Wed. April 26 Portland at Golden State, TBD
Game 6 – Fri. April 28 Golden State at Portland, TBD
Game 7 – Sun. April 30 Portland at Golden State, TBD
Even if Jusuf Nurkic is ruled out for Game 1, the Blazers vs. Warriors playoff schedule extends for more than two full weeks. That could allow him plenty of time to go from “questionable” to “active” on the Blazers’ injury report. The current state of the Portland Trail Blazers rumors is that Nurkic could play on Sunday afternoon, but it’s equally possible that the team is playing coy and that he might not be ready to go until later in the series.
[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]