Jamal Murray missed the entire campaign of the 2021-22 season due to rehabbing an ACL injury. The Denver Nuggets certainly missed his play-making ability along with the one-two punch he formed with the back-to-back MVP, Nikola Jokic. Not to mention, losing Michael Porter Jr. after just nine games did not help Denver’s chances this past season. However, hope is on the horizon for the Nuggets faithful as Jamal Murray dropped a bombshell in a recent press conference. The former Kentucky Wildcat told the media he expects to be back for the NBA preseason. To say this got Nuggets fans excited would be an understatement.
Jamal Murray is back this preseason. 👀🏹 pic.twitter.com/cTmUvcwVcH
— theScore (@theScore) August 17, 2022
How Long Jamal Murray Has Been Out
The last time Jamal Murray played NBA minutes was all the way back in April of 2021. The Nuggets point guard tore his ACL in a game against the Golden State Warriors that had been decided for the most part. Murray was trying his best to spearhead a comeback in the last minutes of the fourth quarter when fate unfortunately struck. On a drive to the basket, he twisted his knee in a dire way and the rest was history. However, it seems his recovery has gone quite well as footage of him playing in a pickup game overseas has been going viral. Murray looks extremely good and better yet, looks healthy and seems to have the spring in his step like he once did.
Here’s Jamal Murray playing pick up in Australia (from his IG) for your viewing pleasure this morning. pic.twitter.com/uIWKHXOo6j
— Katy Winge (@katywinge) August 17, 2022
Jamal Murray’s Impact on the Nuggets
It is no secret that Denver’s championship odds go up exponentially with Murray on the floor. Before his injury, he looked as if he was ready to make the next jump to not just All-Star status, but possibly one of the next up-and-coming superstars in the league. During the 2021 season, Murray averaged a career-high 21.2 points, 1.3 steals, 4.8 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game. On top of that, he also shot a career-best 40.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Of course, no one can forget what Murray accomplished in the Bubble. He had arguably the best first-round playoff series in NBA history as he and Donovan Mitchell battled it out game after game. During that series, Murray tallied 31.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game while shooting 55.0 percent from the field. In the following series’ he was still dominant as he and Jokic quickly emerged as one of the premier star duos the NBA has to offer. With him back now, expect the Nuggets to utilize the infamous dribble hand-off more between these two, especially with Denver boasting a healthy roster this coming season.
What to Expect
The Denver Nuggets will be cautious with Jamal Murray at the start of the year. Expect him to rest on back-to-backs and the coaching staff to carefully allocate his minutes. However, as time goes on, we should see the same Jamal most of the NBA landscape was starting to recognize before the ACL injury. He should easily reclaim his place as Denver’s second go-to option and with enough hard work and some luck, make his first All-Star bid this coming NBA season.