Wizenheimer wrote:Nurkic was fine last night. At this point I think you just have to accept that he's going to have a lower shooting efficiency around the basket than his size warrants; he lacks patience with the ball down low and that's not changing it appears
Do we have to accept it, and is it really that bad? Sure, it's frustrating to see a 7-footer miss bunnies at the rim, but In his six seasons in POR, Nurk's FG% from 0 - 3 feet is .617. That's not ideal for a player his size, but not as horrendous as many make it out to be.
You are right though, Nurk needs to slow down and not rush things especially when he has a smaller player on him. Nurk showed signs of that his second season in POR. He started off the year terribly, but gradually slowed down and finished the season with a career high of .643 FG% from 0 - 3 feet. Given everything else Nurk does well, it would be great if he could get back to that level of efficiency around the basket. The problem is, he's rarely been healthy long enough to get to a similar comfort level.
No doubt, a player like Enes Kanter is a better finisher near the basket than Nurk. Perhaps we got spoiled by Kanter's efficiency around the basket while in POR, but his first season here his .632 from 0 - 3 feet wasn't that much better than Nurk's .617 over 6 seasons, and below Nurk's .643 mark in 2017-18. Of course, Kanter is a liability on defense and becomes unplayable against certain matchups in the playoffs, so overall you take Nurk and his occasional brain fart near the basket. Hopefully, this season he will gradually slow down and get his shooting percentage near the basket back in that .640 - .650 range
well, last season, on the Blazers, FG% at the rim (0-3"):
CJ Elleby .750
Enes Kanter .695
Nassir Little .689
Gary Trent Jr. .673
Derrick Jones Jr. .662
Norman Powell .647
Damian Lillard .631
Harry Giles .605
CJ McCollum .596
Jusuf Nurkić .596
he was tied with CJ. Now, that's not horrible, but it isn't good either considering only 10.6% of CJ's shots were at the rim vs 56.5% of Nurkic's shots.
what makes this worse is that Nurkic's inability to finish better harms Portland efficiency on some critical play types. For instance, last season, Nurkic only averaged 0.74 points on post-ups; that was so bad he finished in the 16th percentile. Kanter averaged 1.03 points and finished in the 68th percentile. That was 18% of Nurk's offense.
he plays with Dame who is one of the best, if not best, PnR ball-handlers in the league. Nurkic averages 1.13 points as the roll man on PnR; that's 31% of his offense, yet it is only in the 52nd percentile. Compare Nurk's 1.13 points/play to other Bigs: Jarret Allen 1.41; Kevin Looney & Deandre Ayton at 1.39; Javale Mcgee & Dwight Powell at 1.38; Rudy Gobert and Deandre Jordan at 1.34; Richaun Holmes at 1.30. And every single one of those bigs is much better at post-up too
if you just account for those two play types, post-up and PnR, that is essentially half of Nurkic's offense and he doesn't even crack the 40th percentile in efficiency. That's bad
another 18% of Nurk's offense comes on cuts to the basket; he's only in the 21st percentile. And 13% of Nurk's offense came on putbacks where he was only in the 15th percentile averaging 0.90 points. Kanter averaged 1.20
he just has lousy efficiency and most of that is due to him being much worse than he should be in the paint and around the rim. Now, it's not like he shoots as much as Dame or CJ. And Portland has a bigger efficiency problem than Nurkic (either Dame shoots too little or CJ shoots too much). But Billups has said 3 or 4 times that he wants Nurkic to be a bigger part of the offense. Unless Nurk can correct his efficiency he should actually be a smaller part, at least when it comes to shooting