The Nuggets are four games into their preseason schedule and while the return of Danilo Gallinari and improvement of Timofey Mozgov have garnered most of the headlines, rookie Jusuf Nurkic has made a name for himself as well. The 20 year old Bosnian center has played solid through Denver’s first four games of the preseason and has made his presence known, in the Nuggets ongoing battle at the center position. There is no question that at least in my opinion, Mozgov has earned the starting center spot for Brian Shaw’s team and rightfully so. The fifth year center is coming off a career year, where he played in every game for Denver last season and is off to a fast start this preseason averaging 14.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game thus far.

Nurkic however has made a run at the Nuggets back up center spot, as JaVale McGee is still out with a stress fracture in his tibia and continues to rehab the injury. Nurkic is coming off his best scoring outing of the preseason, scoring 15 points and shooting 77% from the field tonight in Denver’s 110-90 loss to the Chicago Bulls. The rookie center has averaged 7.2 points and 9.7 rebounds in four preseason games, while recording 3 assists in two games and a 15 rebound game as well. Nurkic has given the Nuggets a physical presence on the glass, constantly fighting for rebounds, finishing with both hands and showing decent touch around the rim. He showed off some of his nifty passing skills, out of the post in the games against the Lakers and some very solid athletic ability too.

He has not been without his mistakes though, which is expected from a 20 year old rookie center. Nurkic has recorded 16 personal fouls …read more