Den­ver Post NBA writer Nick Kos­mider takes your ques­tions and posts his Nuggets Mailbag dur­ing the NBA sea­son.

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

8 p.m. Tues­day, ALT; 950 AM The Nuggets will face for the first time the cen­ter they drafted — through a trade with Chicago — with the No. 16 over­all se­lec­tion in the 2014 draft. Nur­kic showed strong flashes dur­ing a rookie sea­son in which he av­er­aged 6.9 points and 6.2 re­bounds, but knee surgery cut his sec­ond sea­son with Den­ver in half, lim­it­ing him to 33 games. Nur­kic en­tered this sea­son as Den­ver’s start­ing cen­ter, but he was rel­e­gated to the bench once the Nuggets went to Nikola Jo­kic at the start­ing spot in the mid­dle of De­cem­ber. That move put the wheels of a trade in mo­tion, and Nur­kic ap­pears to have found his foot­ing with the Trail Blaz­ers, his new team. It’s hard to imag­ine Nur­kic won’t be mo­ti­vated to have a big game against the team that drafted him.

Spot­light on Jusuf Nur­kic:

Nuggets: Den­ver has tar­geted im­proved bench scor­ing as a key pri­or­ity in the fi­nal nine games of the sea­son. The Nuggets jumped to a 24-15 lead against New Or­leans on Sun­day, but they scored only four points over the next nine-plus min­utes with re­serves on the floor. “Our bench came into the game and was aw­ful,” coach Michael Malone said. The backup unit also strug­gled in Fri­day’s vic­tory over In­di­ana. “We need Will Bar­ton to cre­ate that of­fense,” Malone said. One pos­i­tive for the Nuggets: Their re­serves have outscored Port­land’s 116-73 in three meet­ings this sea­son. Trail Blaz­ers: C.J. McCol­lum has scored 30 or more points in 13 games this sea­son, which is the num­ber of 30-point games the guard had in the pre­vi­ous three years of his ca­reer. … Port­land is 6-4 in its last 10 home games. The Trail Blaz­ers are 19-10 against the Nuggets at the Moda Cen­ter since the 2002-03 sea­son. … Damian Lil­lard is av­er­ag­ing 36.3 points and 7.7 as­sists in three games against the Nuggets this sea­son, and he has scored at least 30 points in four of his last five games against Den­ver. … The Trail Blaz­ers have limited Nuggets cen­ter Nikola Jo­kic to a to­tal of 13 points and nine re­bounds in the past two meet­ings of the teams this sea­son. Nick Kos­mider, The Den­ver Post »den­ver­ nuggets

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