Jusuf Nurkic update
When the Nuggets' training camp opened three and a half months ago, Nurkic's challenge to contribute as a rookie looked daunting. Not only did the 20-year-old face a steep learning curve given his lack of seasoning (he started playing basketball only five years ago) and adjustment to the NBA from the Adriatic league, but he also was part of a frontcourt depth chart that featured experienced veterans in centers Timofey Mozgov and JaVale McGee and power forwards Kenneth Faried, J.J. Hickson and Darrell Arthur. But the 16th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft showed promise in the preseason and produced a couple of eye-opening performances early in the regular season, setting the stage for the Nuggets to promote him to the starting lineup after last week's trade of Mozgov to Cleveland. The Bosnian Beast responded in his second start with 16 points (on 8-of-11 shooting), eight rebounds and three blocks in 22 minutes in a victory at Sacramento, part of an extended run of success for the 7-foot, 279-pounder. Nurkic is averaging 11.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in 23.1 minutes in his last seven games for Denver, which has won five in a row.