Something has gotten into the Portland Trail Blazers in the past little while. The doom and gloom of their disappointing season is nowhere to be found, replaced by a sudden onset of optimism and curious amounts of laughter and joy. Energy and excitement is everywhere -- even reporters have stopped asking the players about their 26th-ranked defense.

Blazers coach Terry Stotts diagnosed the condition simply on Thursday, per The Oregonian: “Nurkic fever. Why not?”

Stotts said that before their game against the Philadelphia 76ers last night; since then, the fever has spread rapidly. Nurkic, no hyperbole, produced one of the best all-around performances in recent NBA history in the 114-108 win, finishing with 28 points, 20 rebounds, eight assists, six blocks and two steals. All of those numbers, save for the steals, were career highs.

After the game, according to The Oregonian, backup center Meyers Leonard decided to “twirl around” before leaving the locker room -- he had an announcement to make to anybody who was listening. “For anyone wondering: He’s really good,” Leonard said, gesturing toward Nurkic. “Jesus Christ!”

For Portland, Nurkic’s presence has changed everything. It has won four straight games and five of eight since his arrival, and it is only one game back of the eighth-place Denver Nuggets in the standings. In the 205 minutes that Nurkic has been on the court, the Blazers have outscored opponents by 10.7 points per 100 possessions. That absurd number might not be sustainable, but there is a real chance that he will push them past his former team and into the postseason.