Excitement is at an all-time high in Mile High with Jamal Murray’s return for the Denver Nuggets.
Wednesday’s season opener against Utah will be the first regular season action Murray has seen since suffering a torn ACL in April 2021. Due to his recovery, he missed the entire 2021-22 season in what was a relative down season for Denver.
While speaking to the media on Tuesday, two-time MVP Nikola Jokic decided to tamper expectations for his co-star.
Asked Jokić about getting Jamal Murray back in the starting lineup for the regular season:
“I love to play with him, of course. I know he’s going to be really bad for the next 20 games but we’re going to survive.” pic.twitter.com/EofkeBAyep
— Katy Winge (@katywinge) October 18, 2022
“I love to play with him of course. I know he’s going to be really bad for 20 games or so, but we’ll survive,” Jokic said jokingly. “He’ll need to get into a rhythm and hopefully he’ll be back to old Jamal before the injury.”
As the old saying goes, all jokes have some truth to them. There are high expectations for the Nuggets, but there will be some growing pains for both Murray and Michael Porter Jr., who only appeared in nine games due to injury.
Jamal Murray = Denver Nuggets Success
For Murray, it has been 18 months since he has played a meaningful game, not counting the preseason. And the “old Jamal” that Nikola Jokic was referring to is a very high bar. Before the injury, Jamal Murray was in the midst of a career season. He averaged a career-high in points (21.2), true shooting percentage (59.2%), and three-point percentage (40.8%). The Nuggets also had a +6.3 plus/minus rating with Murray on the floor, also a career-high for the 25-year-old.
As for the Nuggets, Wednesday night’s opener will be the first time Jokic, Murray, and Porter Jr. have played together since 2021. When all three are on the court, it has been a proven recipe for success. The trio averaged a plus/minus rating of +6.8 in 2021, while the pair of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray averaged +7.1. The Nuggets were 34-19 before Murray’s injury.
After three straight top-three Western Conference finishes, the Denver Nuggets fell to sixth in 2022. But with Murray & Porter Jr.’s return, combined with the acquisitions of defenders such as Bruce Brown and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the Nuggets are viewed as contenders again. But take it from two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, it is going to take some time.
- Luka Doncic Calls Celtics’ All-Stars ‘Best Duo In The League’
- 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle ruled out tonight vs. Hornets
- Derrick Rose Could Be Traded To ‘Surprise’ Team Emerging With Interest
- Kristaps Porzingis on Thanksgiving: ‘I’m thankful for all the ups and downs’
- Nets’ Ben Simmons on return to Philly: ‘I thought it was going to be louder’
NBA 2 weeks ago
Best NBA Live Streaming Sites For Thursday 11/10: How To Watch NBA Free Live Stream Tonight
NBA 2 weeks ago
Former NBA Player Call Ben Simmons Most Overrated Player In The NBA
Main Page 2 weeks ago
Karl-Anthony Towns on Anthony Edwards: ‘I’ll always be here to take a bullet for him’
Main Page 1 week ago
Kings guard De’Aaron Fox leads NBA in clutch points this season