What Does Jusuf Nurkic’s Injury Mean To The Utah Jazz?

Mar 29, 2019, 12:48 PM | Updated: 12:48 pm
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz are gearing up for a playoff run and are currently in a tight battle for home court in the Western Conference.

But earlier this week, a severe season-ending injury to Portland Trail Blazer center Jusuf Nurkic just changed the outlook for not only the Jazz but the rest of the Western Conference.

No one should root for injuries to happen even if it benefits your favorite team, but there is a lot of intrigue for the Jazz to possibly take on the Trail Blazers who will not be at full strength for the playoffs.

Portland’s schedule is about as easy as the Jazz the rest of the way, meaning a high seed and homecourt is still in the cards for the Trail Blazers.

Opposing teams are now looking at them as an easy win to make it to the second round of the NBA playoffs.

What Does This Mean For The Jazz?

Looking strictly at basketball this is good news for the Jazz or whoever plays Portland in the first round.

The Trail Blazers are arguably the weakest team in the Western Conference, even if they get home court advantage.

They still have Damian Lillard who carries this team along with C.J. McCollum who combine for over 47 points per game, but Nurkic has been playing extremely well when facing the Jazz.

It is not like Portland will just be an easy series with Nurkic out, but even with those two scorers the odds of them advancing in the playoffs are greatly diminished.

KSL Sports’ Alex Kirry explains how this injury benefits the Jazz playoff run.

“The bottom line, this injury makes the Jazz playoff run through Portland a little bit easier,” Kirry said on KSL’s Unrivaled. “Nurkic has been owning the Jazz, really owning everyone, the Jazz have had a hard time with the Portland Trail Blazers. Nurkic has had really good games against Rudy Gobert.”

How Should Fans React To This Injury?

First off, no fan should be happy that a player gets hurt, especially to the severity of Nurkic’s broken leg. However, a fan would be lying if it never crept into their mind to think about ‘what if’ a player wasn’t in the lineup for one reason or another.

“If you are a Jazz fan… the answer is that you want to [face Portland in the playoffs] but it is the expense of another guy getting hurt,” Kirry said. “You didn’t control this as a fan or want this to happen, but I think a lot of us have said before, ‘I want this guy to get hurt.'”

Then there are also some fans that wish an injury bad enough to have a key player sit out when playing your favorite team.

“Utah Jazz fans are like ‘this is a disgusting injury, oh, that is kind of good for us.’ I know you don’t wish it on anyone and have watched fans do the total sportsmanship thing when a player gets hurt,” Kirry said.

“However, there is that segment of people that say, ‘good, the other guy on the other team is hurt? Good.’ … We don’t want these guys hurt where they can’t support their family, but we want them hurt where they can’t play us in the playoffs.”

Yes, this injury could very well benefit the Jazz if they play the Trail Blazers in the playoffs but to do so at the expense of a severe injury feels a bit dirty, but then again injuries do happen and are part of sports.

Tune into KSL’s Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or download the KSL NewsRadio app to subscribe to the podcast.

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