The Denver Nuggets have enjoyed a stellar opening half to their 2019-20 NBA season, as a record of 29-12 currently has them ranked as the second seed in a loaded Western Conference. However, Denver will have to overcome an injury to one of their key contributors after guard Jamal Murray banged up his ankle in Wednesday night’s 100-86 win over the Charlotte Hornets.
Though x-rays on Murray’s ankle came back negative, head coach Mike Malone says his point guard will be out for the ‘foreseeable future.’
“The X-rays were negative,” Malone told the Denver Post prior to Thursday night’s game against Golden State. “He’ll be out for the foreseeable future, obviously. We kept some of those guys home instead of having them travel. Both Jamal, Gary (Harris) and Paul (Millsap), just trying to allow them more rehab time, try to get them back as quickly as possible. So, right now, no real update other than that we don’t expect him back for a little bit.”
Even without Murray in the lineup, Denver was able to secure a 134-131 win over the Warriors. Will Barton picked up the slack for the Nuggets with 31 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds while Malik Beasley poured in 27 off the bench.
Though Denver’s guards stepped up in their first game without Jamal Murray, losing the Kentucky product for an extended period will certainly hurt the Nuggets heading into the All-Star break. Nikola Jokic is undoubtedly the franchise centerpiece but Murray’s consistent perimeter scoring made him an ideal complement to the Serbian 7-footer.
The Nuggets do boast an incredibly deep roster and that was on full display in their most recent outing. While Murray’s starting backcourt mate Gary Harris is also sidelined with an injury of his own, Denver can rely on offensive production from the likes of Barton, Beasley, Monte Morris and the budding Michael Porter. Jr.
With Murray, Harris and veteran forward Paul Millsap all out of the picture for now, expect Denver to run the offense through Nikola Jokic more than ever and spread the ball around to their bevy of talented wing players.