Jamal Murray Injury: The Denver Nuggets were a dark horse for winning the NBA Championship this season. The team has dealt with a lot of injuries throughout the season but has played well during the stretch where they missed key players due to the NBA’s COVID Health Protocol or other injuries.
The Denver Nuggets now have a major problem on their hands as Jamal Murray suffered a non-contact injury against the Golden State Warriors on Monday.
Murray refused to use a wheelchair but instead limped off the court. The Nuggets are a great team as they have a 35-20 record in the loaded Western Conference, which places them in fourth place.
Jamal Murray suffered an ACL tear which will hurt the team’s chances significantly as the trade deadline is long gone.
Murray looked like he was in a lot of pain, and will miss the remainder of the season and the playoffs. It is also unclear how much time he will miss and if he will be ready by the beginning of the season.
HOW WILL THIS AFFECT THEIR CHANCES IN THE PLAYOFFS
The Denver Nuggets still have a great core of players centered around the MVP frontrunner Nikola Jokic. The Nuggets sacrificed part of their young core to make a deep run in the playoffs by acquiring Aaron Gordon from the Orlando Magic and Javale McGee from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Nuggets parted ways with Gary Harris and first-round pick RJ Hampton. Harris was a favorite of the coaching staff because of his presence on defense. On the other hand, Hampton has potential as he had a good game this season against his former squad.
Jamal Murray’s absence will be felt when the playoffs arrive shortly. Murray and the Nuggets had a historic playoff run in the NBA bubble in Orlando.
The Nuggets overcame two 3-1 deficits in the Bubble as they beat the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles before falling to the Los Angeles Lakers. Murray had a couple 40 point performances and will have a tough time replacing his production.
WHAT COULD THEY DO
The team has shifted their plans as the team is nearing a deal to sign Austin Rivers who was waived by the Oklahoma City Thunder after getting traded from the New York Knicks. He will most likely split time with Facundo Campazzo who has been decent but nothing spectacular.
The Nuggets will have a tough time playing without their second-best leading scorer and player this season and possibly through the beginning portion of next season. Murray is averaging 21.2 PPG, 4.8 APG, 4.0 RPG, 1.33 steals per game, and 47.7% percent from the field.
The team will be missing his scoring, playmaking, and shot-creating ability. Murray is also great at the pick-and-roll with his teammate Jokic and is clutch when the team needs a bucket in a close game.
Before the injury, this was the best Nuggets team since the 2009 season where star Carmelo Anthony led the team to the Western Conference Finals.
The Nuggets will still be a tough team come playoff time but many role players will need to step up to match the production of what Murray brought. This injury hurts the team’s chances of making the finals and winning the title this season.