Jusuf Nurkic has seen his minutes dwindle down to 0. Literally 0. After starting in 25 games for the Nuggets this year, Nurkic has lost his spot in the rotation. Since losing his starting job, Nurkic has played just 22 minutes in the past seven games, including four DNP-CDs. Nurkic discussed his recent frustration with his lack of playing time (via The Denver Post).
“I’m not here to sit on the bench. I’m here to play basketball. And it’s a tough decision for me, from a starting spot and 20 minutes to four straight (games of not playing). … You control what you control, and I let my agent do the rest of the stuff.”
Faried has handled the big man minutes off the bench due to the fact that Malone has fallen in love with small ball lineups.
“It’s not good,” Nurkic said. “When you (don’t) play, and you feel not part of the team, it’s not fun. Especially when you started from the preseason – how many games, I don’t even know. And you just come to the game (one day) and you’re not in the rotation and nobody tells you anything. So, it’s not my control. I’m going to do what I can do; come here, work every day hard and be professional like I should be.”
Despite his lack of playing time of late, Malone has given high praise to Nurkic. “Nurk has been terrific,” Malone said. “He’s been working his butt off; his attitude has been great.”
Going from starter to bench warmer isn’t an easy transition, especially for Nurkic who is still only 22 years old. It is hard to say for certain if he will work his way back into the rotation permanently. The Nuggets are 5-2 since removing Nurkic from the starting lineup. Nurkic is a big body and a presence in the paint, but does he provide the consistent production that this Nuggets squad so desperately needs? Is he a part of the future plans in Denver? It will be interesting to see how this story unfolds over the next several games.
What do you think Nuggets fans, will Nurkic be wearing a Nuggets uniform for much longer?