The options on both ends of the floor for the Phoenix Suns are abundant, given that the team has added versatile players over the summer. Each player this season has a task to fulfill and accomplish as the team tries its best to contend for the title. While every player is significant, one player stands out among the roster as the biggest X-factor this season. That player is none other than Jusuf Nurkic.
Some might think the involvement of Nurkic with the team won’t be notable this season. But he’s already a proven center in the league, capable of doing plenty of things on the basketball court.
Sadly, his 2022-23 campaign was quite underwhelming. The Bosnian center only played 52 games last season and spent the majority of his time recovering from injuries. Injuries have always held him from completing a season or at least suiting up for 60 games. Nurkic battled knee and calf injuries last season, which didn’t help the Portland Trail Blazers in their quest to return to the postseason.
Now, the center has a chance to play for a championship-minded team. The assignment given to him will not be easy, as the coaching staff and his new teammates expect him to be available for the rest of the season.
Nurkic’s responsibility on both ends will help the Suns succeed
The Suns are high on Nurkic as their starting center. He is not the defensive big that the fans have been longing for. However, the coaching staff has shared their plans on how he will be a crucial part of the system. Even players have envisioned how the 7-foot center can affect the game.
All-Star shooting guard Devin Booker addressed the participation of their center, especially on offense. Given that the Suns lack a legit floor general, they expect to see Nurkic flourish as Phoenix’s secondary playmaker.
"“He can be the secondary point guard too if a team traps me and he plays in that pocket,” Booker said."
Additionally, the Suns view him as a defensive weapon. His awareness on the defensive end will assure his teammates that their last line of defense is reliable. The big man talked about focusing on the defensive end this season, which would be a game-changer for the team.
With these, the Suns could thrive and finish strong in the West. However, one thing that the team should be careful with is the health of Nurkic. Phoenix has a chance to make some noise this season. As long as their starting center stays healthy, the team can reach their full potential.