It’s not happening right now for the other half of the (mostly) dead Jurkic pairing. With Kenneth Faried rejuvenated, Nurkic is hurting for playing time. Perhaps the main reason: his hideous turnover rate.
The Bosnian Beast has coughed it up on 20 percent of the possessions he has finished with a shot, drawn foul, or turnover — a gargantuan number for a big man. Only 10 guys 6-foot-10 or taller have ever tossed away so many possessions while hoarding as large a share of offense as Nurkic.
A lot of these gaffes are just careless. Nurkic is huge, and bowls over defenders in the post — putting him at high risk for charging calls. He has slippery hands. He loves flicking fancy one-handed passes to cutters, but he often misfires or hits their legs.
He also loves hitting people. Sometimes he backs into a post-up with such force, the collision jars the ball loose.
Nurkic should be an efficient player. He’s shooting 51 percent, he’s a good passer, and he can bulldoze to the rim almost whenever he wants. But coaches won’t trust him until he buttons up.
With the Steelers, offensive line coach Mike Munchak was among those yelling “hit it, hit it” from the press box in 2014 when the second-year back wouldn’t accept the first available hole. But largely, Bell has felt the team accepts who he is. Tomlin, who was the only NFL head coach at Bell’s pro day at MSU, never tried to change his thinking. Bell is rewarding that faith with a mushrooming arsenal of cuts and wait-for-its.
“He kind of understood it’s just the way I run the ball, and they kind of just let me do my things and evolve as a, I guess, unique runner,” Bell says.