Storyline: Nurkic-Stotts Dynamic

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In each of the Portland Trail Blazers’ last two games, backup center Ed Davis has earned the fourth quarter minutes over Nurkic, finishing out close losses to Memphis and Brooklyn. Nurkic said he spoke with Blazers coach Terry Stotts and there is no brewing conflict between Portland’s young center and the head coach. “I respect coach’s decision,” said Nurkic, who scored 21 points against Brooklyn despite only playing for 53 seconds in the fourth quarter. “And to be honest, I never have a better coach than Stotts. So, there’s (not) anything wrong.”
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So when he learned Rose left the Cavaliers on Friday to re-evaluate his future in the NBA, James Johnson said his heart goes out to his friend and former teammate. “He’s going through a lot right now,” Johnson said. “He keeps coming back from injuries after injuries, it takes a toll on you, just rehab and treatment. It also takes a toll on you when you know you’re not getting back or you’re going through the same repetitive rehab and treatment.”