Denver Nuggets have to do again without Jamal Murray

Denver (AP) —Even on a roster featuring active MVP Nikola Jokić, guard Will Barton said the 2021-22 Denver Nuggets leadership philosophy was to “win the committee.”

At least until Jamal Murray returns to the lineup.

“Yes, I think that’s right,” said Michael Malone. “I think Will’s thinking is necessary when it comes to entering the season without Jamal Murray.”

The Nuggets starpoint guard tore his left ACL last April, eventually crushing Denver’s championship aspirations.

“I remember talking to our team the next day. It was like I said at the time. No, there is no other Jamal Murray on this team, so no one wants to be Jamal. I won’t do it, “Murray said. “No, as long as everyone brought their best version, we were going to make up for his loss as a committee.”

They did just that and were knocked out by Phoenix after defeating the Portland Trail Blazers down 13-5 in the first round of the playoffs.

“And now we’re starting this new season. I think it has to be the same idea,” Malone said. “It’s by the committee. We all have to do our best every day. It’s clear that Nicola entered the MVP season last year, but everyone else needs to step up. My way. I know that, so I think it will happen. “

Nobody-even Murray-does know when he will come back.

“Just five months ago, I couldn’t lift my foot out of bed,” Murray said recently. “So I’ve come a long way, but I have to realize that I can’t get the speed and level I want to do … it will come over time. And , I can’t rush the time. “

And the Nuggets don’t rush back Murray either.

“He will be back when he’s ready,” said Tim Connelly, the team’s basketball manager. “It’s not when we tell him, it’s not the date on the calendar. Only he knows when it’s ready. And we’re not in a hurry.”

Familiar face

The Nuggets’ relatively quiet off-season shows that everyone is serious about picking up slack until Murray returns.

Connelly did not overreact with the free agent and sign the shooting guard. Instead, we’ve revived almost the same roster that we did last season at 47-25. He soon resigned Burton and JaMychal Green, brought back Austin Rivers and Aaron Gordon, and added Jeff Green.

“There are a lot of people who want to be here,” Malone said. “It speaks to the groups we have and the culture we have. And a kind of common phrase and common theme during the summer in my discussions with all those players is me. They felt they had an unfinished business. “

Malone was also crazy about two other big off-season moves. Drafting VCU’s Bones Highlands on the 26th pick and signing a forward sniper. Michael Porter Jr. Up to a maximum extension of 5 years that may be worth up to $ 207 million.

MPJ Megad

The deal was crowned by a surge in porters. Porter wondered if he was at risk of participating in the 2018 NBA Draft as his college basketball career in Missouri derailed due to a very serious back injury. He slipped into Denver at number 14, the final lottery choice. Porter entered the first season in Denver after undergoing a backing procedure in July 2018.

After a strong performance after the NBA season resumed following the 2020 pandemic delay, Malone averaged 19 points and 7.3 rebounds last season. He also led the nugget with 170 3 points.

According to Malone, porters can make a leap this year by focusing on Corner 3.

The 6’10 porter is also working on increased defense.

Managing the minutes of MVP

A year after leading the Nuggets to the Western Conference Finals at Walt Disney World Bubble in Florida, Jokić led the team to a season of trials characterized by an injured rash.

Of all these injuries, Jokić was a rare everyday player and a big time tycoon, not to mention the crowded season when virtually everyone rested along the way. He is the only player to have started all the regular season games of the team in the last two seasons and is on the floor for all 145 chip-offs.

It may not be the case in 2021.

The Nuggets are talking about managing his minutes to keep him fresh, and Jokić is okay with plans to rest the night here and there.

“I think it’s wise to look at the number of players injured and the number of players who couldn’t play in the match, especially last year,” Jokić said.


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