Portland Trail Blazers: Can Jusuf Nurkic be trusted against the Denver Nuggets?

Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports /
3 of 3
Portland Trail Blazers Norman Powell
Portland Trail Blazers, Norman Powell Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Portland Trail Blazers need Norman Powell to be their third option

Norman Powell proved tonight the very reason the Blazers traded Gary Trent Jr. for him. He’s one of those players in the league that can go off on any given night.

With only six seasons under his belt, most of them spent as a bench guy, Powell already has 11 games with 30-plus points. Right before the Blazers traded for him, he showed his potential dropping 43 points on 78 percent shooting including 67 percent from deep.

Before Game 4, he’s mostly been a decent third option for the Blazers. Today, he was the type of player that turns good teams into great ones.

Powell came out aggressive, attacking every chance he got and launching away from deep without hesitation.

Alongside his scoring, Norm played inspired defense, using his athleticism to fly all over the floor and made people forget that he’s a 6’4 small forward.

This upcoming offseason, he’s got a player option worth just north of $11 million. He’s sure to decline that. The Trail Blazers will retain his “Bird-rights” meaning that they can go over the salary cap to keep him on the team.

Powell’s performance moving forward will not only impact this series or even these playoffs, but his future in Portland. Can he prove that he’s a championship level third option and earn the contract that comes with that status?

Let’s hope so.

Next. Why Anfernee Simons could be on the cusp of greatness. dark