Mason Plumlee couldn’t contain Jusuf Nurkic. Nikola Jokic couldn’t contain Jusuf Nurkic. Jusuf Nurkic could barely contain Jusuf Nurkic. Jusuf Nurkic was, at points in this game, a completely unstoppable out-of-control force of rebound and flailing post move.
I hate to compare them again, but Jokic plays the game in a very measured way. He’s slow and calculated. That’s basically the opposite of Nurkic, who does everything as fast as he can and barrels into situations like a bear in an ineffective-center shop. It’s left to the reader to decide which you’d rather have on your team. Hint: the correct answer is whichever player you last watched a highlight vid of. Those things are very convincing.
Nurkic was the gentleman in this one, letting the Nuggets win and Jokic get a triple-double so he can have a better chance of later defeating them in the playoffs. This is only a very minor setback for the Blazers; their eyes are focused on the future, while the Nuggets have to struggle in the now.