Denver Nuggets Guard Jamal Murray Out Multiple Weeks
Posted on: November 9, 2023, 09:57h.
Last updated on: November 9, 2023, 10:23h.
The Denver Nuggets won’t have All-Star point guard Jamal Murray for the rest of the month because of a right hamstring injury.
The Nuggets are currently 8-1 and have the best record in the NBA to start the season. They have a perfect 5-0 record on their home court at Ball Arena in Denver.
The Nuggets jumped out to a 4-0 start before they lost their first game of the season against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Since that misstep, the Nuggets won four games in a row, including two straight without Murray in the lineup.
Prior to his injury, Murray averaged 18.7 points and 8.7 assists per game. He also shot 43.8% from 3-point range.
Another Injury for Murray
Murray sustained a right hamstring injury against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. He played 10 minutes before he exited the game with just two points. Veteran point guard Reggie Jackson filled in for Murray and scored 16 points in 25 minutes off the bench in a 22-point victory.
Murray missed some time in the preseason because of the same hamstring injury. The Nuggets want to proceed with caution with their star point guard. They’ll take a conservative approach and shut down Murray for up to four weeks.
This will be something that will be longer than we would like,” said head coach Mike Malone. “You have to have the big picture in mind. Make sure we’re putting him in position to get healthy before he comes back.”
Jackson, who joined the Nuggets late last season, averaged 14.3 points per game since Murray went down. Jackson will take over as the starting point guard until Murray returns.
While Murray nurses a hamstring injury, several young guards could see increased playing time, including Christian Braun who averages 7.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game in his second season.
The Nuggets are also keen on guard Julian Strawther, who was a late first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft out of Gonzaga. Strawther averages 5.9 points per game, but the rookie exploded for 21 points in 19 minutes in a big win against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.
Jalen Pickett, a second-round draft pick from Siena, could also see more court time with Murray out.
Murray missed the entire 2021-22 season while recovering from a torn ACL and subsequent reconstructive knee surgery. He was rusty at the start of last season, but finally looked like his old self in the months leading up to the playoffs.
Nuggets Attempt Title Defense
The Nuggets had good luck in the health department last season, especially with Murray and Michael Porter, Jr., which is the primary reason why they won their franchise’s first NBA Championship.
Nikola Jokic earned the 2023 NBA Finals MVP for his sensational postseason run. Murray also excelled during the playoffs. He averaged 26.1 points, 7.1 assists, and 5.7 rebounds in 20 playoff games. He shot 39.6% from 3-point range and knocked down 92.6% of his free-throw attempts. Murray torched the Los Angeles Lakers and averaged 32.5 points per game in the 2023 Western Conference finals.
The Nuggets went 53-29 last season and secured the #1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. They entered this season with a win total of 53.5 over/under. The Boston Celtics (55.5 o/u) and Milwaukee Bucks (54.5 o/u) were the only other teams with a higher projected win total.
The Nuggets are +450 odds to successfully defend their championship. The Celtics (5-2) are the consensus favorite to win the 2023-24 NBA Championship at +370, and the Bucks (5-2) are just ahead of the Nuggets at +425 odds.
The Nuggets are a big favorite to win back-to-back Northwest Division titles at -475 odds. The Timberwolves are their closest competition at +600, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder at +700. Even though Karl-Anthony Towns is the subject of trade rumors, the second-place Timberwolves (5-2) have the third-best winning percentage in the West.
The Nuggets are +220 odds to win the Western Conference crown in consecutive seasons. They’re ahead of the Phoenix Suns (+330), Golden State Warriors (+600), and Los Angeles Clippers (+700). The Clippers saw an odds boost after they acquired James Harden in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers.
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