Jusuf Nurkic’ Phenomenal Rookie Season


Jusuf Nurkic has been great this season. After being drafted by the Chicago Bulls, and then traded to the Denver Nuggets, he has shown that the Nuggets made a good choice. The Bosnian rookie has started his career off on the right foot, and it’s looking like he will only get better.

On October 29th, Nurkic made his NBA debut against the Detroit Pistons, recording five points and eight rebounds during that game. In addition, the Nuggets also got a win over the Pistons, beating them 89-79. He recorded his first double-double on January 1st against the Chicago Bulls (10 points, 10 rebounds). Just two days later, he recorded another double-double against the Memphis Grizzlies (11 points, 10 rebounds). Along with the double-double against Memphis, he also recorded an impressive five blocks! Nurkic has a total of four double-doubles this campaign.

Nurkic’ potential is through the roof. This guy is an animal when it comes to grabbing boards. He recorded 15 rebounds against the Milwaukee Bucks on February 20th, setting his NBA career-high for total rebounds in a game. The 20 year-old rookie has a promising future in the NBA. Although his season-high (and career-high) for points is only 16, he brings a lot to the table for this Nuggets team. He has had four games this season where he recorded 16 points.

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Nurkic did miss a number of games this season. He missed several games after suffering a lateral ankle sprain in his right ankle against the Phoenix Suns (on February 25th). He missed a total of eight games because of the injury. He has seen a limited amount of minutes after returning on March 13th against the Golden State Warriors. This was a good idea for the Nuggets since they can’t make the Playoffs — there is no point of risking another injury.

Let’s take a look at Nurkic’ stats over his rookie season. He is currently shooting an impressive 45.1-percent from the field and 63.6-percent from the free-throw line. Great stats for the rookie big man! Along with that, he has a total of 397 points, 355 rebounds, 66 blocks and 49 steals. He has an extremely bright future in the NBA if he can keep this impressive play up, which I’m certainly sure he can.

This isn’t Nurkic’ only basketball experience though. He had a very prestigious career in the Croatian League before coming to the NBA. He won the Croatian Cup championship and Croatian League Finals Most Valuable Player in 2014. What does this mean for the Denver Nuggets? The team has a player that has experience and has been under the spotlight before. This is going to come in handy for the Nuggets down the road.

Despite missing some games and seeing limited minutes, it has been a phenomenal season for Jusuf Nurkic. The 6’11 center came into the NBA and has made a name for himself. He is only 20 years old, meaning he has much more time to shine. I’m a huge fan of this guy. I believe in the future, he could be an elite center in the league. He could possibly even be an All-Star someday. I’m extremely excited to see this player grow and expand his game, it’s only a matter of time until this guy is a huge threat for the big-name centers in the league.