Jamal Murray last shared a court with his Nuggets teammates on Nov. 4 against the Chicago Bulls. Since then, the Nuggets have gone 3-1, beating the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Clippers, and the New Orleans Pelicans.
Tonight, the Pelicans host the Nuggets in the latest installment of the NBA's In-Season tournament. The Nuggets are 2-0 in the In-Season tournament while the Pelicans are 1-1. Yet, can the Nuggets count on Murray to play?
Jamal Murray is not available for tonight's game against the Pelicans
According to the injury report, Jamal Murray will not play in tonight's game against the Pelicans due to that hamstring injury he suffered Nov. 4 against Chicago. DNVR.com's Harrison Wind reported that Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said Murray (hamstring) is close to his return, and will join the Nuggets for their five-game road trip beginning Friday in New Orleans.
In regards to Murray's availability, Malone said. "I don't know if on this road trip he'll play or not." Aside from Murray, Vlatko Cancar is out for the Nuggets (left knee; surgery).
Even though Murray seems to be making progress, the Nuggets will probably take a cautious approach and give him plenty of time to recover. For the time being, Murray can only help out where he can.
Nuggets rookie Jalen Pickett told APNews' Pat Graham that Murray has helped by easing the rookie's transition into the NBA. Pickett said, "He’s been telling me stuff since this summer. Seeing (Murray) just come into that leadership role, even though he’s hurt, and to still be on the bench and helping me is great." You can't ask for anything more from your leader.
The Nuggets' five-game road trip ends on Nov. 26 when they play the Spurs at home. Veteran point guard Reggie Jackson is handling things for the Nuggets until then. At 9-2, the Nuggets lead the Western Conference. No Murray? No problem.
It's unsettling to think the Nuggets have only dropped one game after losing an essential part of their offense. This only speaks to Denver's depth and cohesion as a team. Ultimately, the Nuggets' resilience is a testament to their strong team chemistry and ability to adjust to changes.