The Denver Nuggets went from one of the most dangerous teams in the NBA to one of the most vulnerable.
Jamal Murray was diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee, which is expected to keep him sidelined for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.
With the Nuggets (34-20) ranked fourth in the Western Conference, they are now without their point guard who emerged as a superstar last season. It also strips away part of the Nuggets’ depth, which also includes an MVP candidate (Nikola Jokic), an emerging young player (Michael Porter Jr.) and a newly acquired wing player that can defend at multiple positions (Aaron Gordon).
In the final minute of the Nuggets’ loss to the Golden State Warriors on Monday, Murray drove toward the basket before his knee buckled on a non-contact play. Murray immediately fell to the ground. Moments later, the Nuggets’ training staff assisted him to the locker room.
Afterwards, Nuggets coach Michael Malone said some of his assistant coaches watched the replay and feared that Murray hyperextended his knee. But the Nuggets had Murray take an MRI before determining the severity of his injury.
“Obviously very down locker room,” Malone said after the game. “Yes we lost the game. But I think everybody’s thoughts are with Jamal and hoping hoping he’ll be okay.”
Murray had missed the previous four games because of right knee soreness. He played against Golden State on a relative minutes restriction (33), but Malone stressed that Murray was not rushed back to play.
“Anytime a guy misses four games, there is always a concern going out there. But I think we took our time with that knee soreness that he was experiencing,” Malone said. “He wanted to come back tonight, and felt really good about coming back tonight. It’s one of those things where injuries is something you can’t really control.”
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