The Blazers and Nuggets entered Tuesday’s face-off in Portland tied for the No. 8 seed in the West. A win for the Blazers would clinch the head-to-head tiebreaker and give them an additional 1-game cushion heading into a final stretch with an easy schedule. Denver had to win this game.
So of course Jusuf Nurkic, the disgruntled Bosnian center the Nuggets traded to Portland last month, dropped a career high 33 points and 16 rebounds as the Blazers beat the Nuggets.
The Nuggets front office is going to take enormous amounts of criticism for the Nurkic trade should the Nuggets miss the playoffs because of it. They should. Nurkic had no place in Denver and was a locker room problem. You don’t have to dispute that to suggest that you don’t trade high-potential big men to a team you’re trying to hold off for the No. 8 seed! The Nuggets got Mason Plumlee back in the deal, and gave up a first. I mean, that’s a bad trade. I don’t care if Nurkic was a loud chewer and tipped poorly. You can’t make that trade with a team you’re trying to beat!
The best part of the Jusuf Nurkic Revenge Game? After the game, he publicly wished the Nuggets a “happy summer.”
Jusuf Nurkic wishing his former team (the Nuggets) a “happy summer” after defeating them in Portland on Tuesday
this man lives by the code pic.twitter.com/RVPbssPDW9
— SeatGeek = WOW!! (@World_Wide_Wob) March 29, 2017
Don’t hurt ’em, Joe! (Hat tip to @World_Wide_Wob.)