Grandmother of Blazers’ Jusuf Nurkic passes away from COVID-19 related death
The Blazers would have completely understood if Jusuf Nurkic decided not to play against the Grizzlies despite the importance of the game.
However, players often times play during tragic events to get their mind off things and honor their family. With that said, Nurkic wanted to play against the Grizzlies to make his grandmother proud.
The Blazers need to beat the Grizzlies once to clinch the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies, meanwhile, have to win twice. If they lose to Portland on Saturday, their 2019-20 season is over.
Nurkic entered Saturday averaging 17.6 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists for the Blazers in eight appearances. He missed the majority of the 2019-20 season recovering from his knee injury but has been very productive in Orlando since making his season debut.
If the Blazers face off against the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 2020 playoffs, they will be underdogs since the Lakers have the best record in the West and two superstars in LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
However, with the way Damian Lillard is playing, you never know what could happen in the bubble playoffs, especially since there are no fans in attendance.