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Jusuf Nurkic reveals why Rockets game was ‘perfect’ day to make return from horrific injury

Blazers, Jusuf Nurkic

Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic was scheduled to make his much-anticipated 2019-20 regular-season debut on March 15 at home against the Houston Rockets.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the NBA to suspend the season before the Blazers big man could play the game he loves again.

In an interview with Dwight Jaynes of NBC Sports Northwest, Nurkic revealed why that Sunday morning game against the Rockets was the “perfect” day for him to make his debut.

“It was basically, I was taking my rehab and try [to] really focus on day-by-day,”the Blazers big man said. “When I felt like I was like with the last exam I have with the doctors, and my agents and, of course, with the team and organization, we kind of looked to the dates and it was like, ‘are you okay with this?’ And I was like, ‘how about this?’ So, we figured out that date. It was like perfect.

“It was an earlier game Sunday, and of course, I need to look [out] for my people back home. It was perfect for them too. It was like 8:30pm back home. So, everybody was pretty much set up and I thought it was a really good game because it was [a] home game and I really wanted to play [at] home first.”

If the 2019-20 season resumes, the Blazers will have Nurfic in the lineup, which would certainly make the team a very dangerous club. If the NBA decides to do the play-in tournament, Portland could feast in that.

Nurkic performed at an All-Star level last season for the Blazers prior to getting hurt against the Brooklyn Nets at home. He was averaging 15.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.4 blocks per contest, all while shooting 50.8 percent from the floor and 77.3 percent from the free-throw line.

The Blazers made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals last season. However, Portland was in ninth place in the standings before the 2019-20 season was suspended. The Rip City team, sans Jusuf Nurkic, has been too inconsistent.