On Monday, April 12th, 2021 the Denver Nuggets young and talented superstar point guard, Jamal Murray, drove to the bucket while splitting two defenders with only 50.6 seconds left on the game clock in a battle against the Golden State Warriors who were winning 111 to 104 at the time. Without any apparent contact made on the play, Murray went down to the floor in obvious pain while grabbing his left knee. The Denver Nuggets head coach, Michael Malone ran out on the court to check on the condition of his star guard when he realized the severity of the injury and called for immediate medical attention.
The medical staff in the new Chase Center basketball arena located in San Francisco, California responded to Jamal within seconds. They proceeded to bring out a wheelchair for him which Murray refused to utilize, but he did have to hop off the floor on one leg with the assistance of two medical staff members as he could not support any weight on his injured left leg. The Denver Nuggets ended up losing that game on the road to the Golden State Warriors with a final score of 116 to 107, but that was the least of their concerns with the health of one of their best players hanging in the balance.
On Tuesday, April 13th 2021 the high-flying guard of the Denver Nuggets underwent an MRI, and the results revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament, also known as the ACL, of his left knee. The Denver Nuggets have officially announced that Murray will now be out of the line-up indefinitely as a result of this severe injury. As the majority of ACL tears require surgery and approximately a year of rehabilitation it is safe to say that you will unfortunately not see the immense skills of Jamal Murray in game action until late in the 2021-2022 season of the National Basketball Association.
The Impact of the Injury
The magnitude of this injury to Murray has major implications not only to his team in the Denver Nuggets, but it may have some implications for the entire NBA as the playoffs in the National Basketball Association are quickly approaching. The Denver Nuggets had previously came out victorious in 17 of their last 20 games before dropping their past two basketball games. After the acquisition of the versatile forward, Aaron Gordon, prior to the NBA trade deadline, the Nuggets were enthusiastic about their NBA championship potential behind their MVP candidate Nikola Jokic and their second - best scoring threat in Murray.
Denver had made it to the 2019-2020 Western Conference Finals last year after Jamal displayed nothing more than a breakout postseason as he averaged 31.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 6.3 assists while scoring 50 points two times in the first round against the Utah Jazz. Murray ultimately averaged 26.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 6.6 assists in 19 playoff games last season.
Without Jamal on the court for the Denver Nuggets it opens the door for other teams to make a deeper run during the 2020-2021 NBA playoffs this year. Unless the Denver Nuggets find a way to replace an irreplaceable player such as Murray, they are in big trouble come the NBA postseason this year, Look for teams such as the Utah Jazz, the Portland Trail Blazers, as well as the Phoenix Suns to take full advantage of this major subtraction from the Denver Nuggets starting line-up as all of these other title - hungry teams in the Western Conference of the NBA look to add a championship banner to their home arenas this year.
Western Conference Standings (as of Tuesday, April 13th, 2021)
Utah Jazz 41 - 14 0 Games Behind
Phoenix Suns 39 -15 1.5 Games Behind
Los Angeles Clippers 38 - 18 3.5 Games Behind
Denver Nuggets 34 - 20 6.5 Games Behind
Los Angeles Lakers 34 - 21 7 Games Behind
Portland Trail Blazers 31 23 9.5 Games Behind
Dallas Mavericks 29 - 24 11 Games Behind
Memphis Grizzlies 27 - 25 12.5 Games Behind
San Antonio Spurs 26 - 26 13.5 Games Behind
Golden State Warriors 26 - 28 14.5 Games Behind
New Orleans Pelicans 25 - 29 15.5 Games Behind
Sacramento Kings 22 - 32 18.5 Games Behind
Oklahoma City Thunder 20 - 34 20.5 Games Behind
Houston Rockets 14 - 40 26.5 Games Behind
Minnesota Timberwolves 14 - 41 27 Games Behind
Murray’s Basketball Career Achievements, Honors, and Awards
- NBA All - Rookie Second Team (2017)
- Third - Team All - American - AP (2016)
- First - Team All - SEC (2016)
- SEC All - Freshman Team (2016)
- Bio Steel All - Canadian MVP (2015)
Odds to Win the 2020-2021 NBA Championship
According to Intertops sportsbook, these are the odds as of Tuesday, April 13th 2021 to win the 2020-2021 NBA championship outright. Currently, the Denver Nuggets minus Jamal Murray have the seventh best odds to win the NBA championship title this year. It will be a hard road to victory for the Denver Nuggets. but crazier things have happened in the postseason of the National Basketball Association. The three teams in the Western Conference of the NBA that have better odds to win the NBA Finals this season are the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Utah Jazz. I would not be surprised if the Phoenix Suns jump ahead of the Denver Nuggets sometime soon like the next week or two.
Friedell, Nick and Youngmisuk, Ohm. “Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray helped off court after late-game knee injury”, ESPN. April 12, 2021.
ESPN News Services. “Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray suffers torn ACL in left knee, out indefinitely”, ESPN. April 13, 2021.
Pelton, Kevin. “What does Jamal Murray's torn ACL mean for the Denver Nuggets?”, ESPN. April 13, 2021.
“Jamal Murray”, Basketball Reference. April 13, 2021.
“United States, NBA Futures – NBA 2020 / 21 Championship: To Win Outright”, Intertops Sportsbook. April 13, 2021.
“NBA Standings 2020 – 21”, ESPN. April 13, 2021.