#NuggLyfe. Just when things are going good, they just always go oh so horribly wrong for the Denver Nuggets. Denver was attempting their comeback with under a minute to go in a game against the Golden State Warriors on Monday night. Jamal Murray was driving in for a layup, and before he could go up for the finish, he came crashing to the ground in a heap. MRI later confirmed the ultimate fear, Murray has a fully torn left ACL.
This was Murray’s first game back from missing four games with right knee soreness. Before any blame is placed on this, let it be known that the knee injury keeping him out was on his right knee, and the tear was on his left. In other words, a freak non-contact injury. Nothing any training staff or any head coach can do. No other player to be mad at. It just happens.
Murray is made of steel. He will play through just about anything, as he’s done his entire career. Murray finished his rookie season playing through a sports hernia, many calf strains, and hip injuries. He spent a good part of the first couple of months with elbow and shoulder injuries. The iron man lying on the ground, writhing in pain, is just heartbreaking to watch.
Jamal Murray was helped off the court after an apparent knee injury with 50 seconds left against the Warriors. pic.twitter.com/sz7akzOiq4
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 13, 2021
Prime Time Sports Talk resident physician, Dr Beth Sullivan, did a piece on the road back after an ACL injury. You can read that here.
Going forward, it’s near impossible to explain what Murray’s loss means to this team fully. He’s the emotional leader, the fire, the gas that makes the Nuggets train go. Guys are going to have to step up. Michael Porter Jr. will have to microwave his ascension as he’ll have to slip into the number two role and be the primary shooter. Aaron Gordon will have to look for his shot and make more plays than he’s been needed to do so far. As for the guards replacing him, Monte Morris will likely step into the starting role for him, with Facundo Campazzo taking a much more important role with the bench unit, barring the team signing another point guard. Every player will have to step up. The room for error just went from pretty large to very, very small.
To be quite honest, this may be one of two injuries that destroy the team’s hopes for a team playoff run that may have had championship hopes. There is no greater definition of the term. This, this is peak NuggLyfe.
Heal up quick, Jamal!