NBA Rumor: Jamal Murray Injury

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Outside of Will Barton, Jokic did not get any help in Saturday’s loss to the Warriors. Clearly, the Nuggets are going to need more fire power if they want to pull off the upset and move past the Warriors and into the second round. On Sunday, video surfaced of Jamal Murray at practice getting some shots up. He looked pretty good, providing a little hope for Nuggets fans he might be able to return. Murray’s form looked good, taking some shots from the outside.

Jamal Murray, Michael Porter unlikely to return during Playoffs

Michael Malone doesn't completely rule out Jamal Murray for the playoffs

As Murray works his way back from his torn ACL, now nearly a full 12 months since the injury, the Nuggets have no intention of shutting him down for the season. Nuggets coach Michael Malone told The Denver Post the team is leaving “all options on the table” as his team charges toward the postseason. “I don’t think it makes any sense to (say) … ‘We’re shutting him down,’” Malone said. “Who knows where the season’s going to go? A lot of crazy things can happen with six games to go, as well as into the postseason. Now with the play-in, the regular season ends and there’s a week for the play-in, then the playoffs start. It used to be, the season ended and playoffs started right away. “I don’t think we need to paint ourselves into a corner and make any definitive decisions right now because this is not a mile race where it’s four laps and it’s over,” Malone said. “We have no idea where the finish line is. Until we have a better idea of that, let’s leave all options on the table and see what happens on a day-to-day basis.”

Jamal Murray done for the season?

But on Friday night, when asked about Murray practicing, Nuggets coach Michael Malone said, “I’ve cautioned like probably three different times this year for everybody to calm down,” and “as of right now, there is no immediate return on the horizon for either one of those players.” Either one. Yes, the Nuggets actually have two players on max contracts who have missed most or all of this season with injuries. The other is Michael Porter Jr., who underwent spine surgery Dec. 1. Of the two, Porter is considered more likely to return this season, numerous Nuggets sources said, but in the same breath they warn that there is a chance neither is back for the playoffs.

In Murray’s case, there probably already isn’t enough time for him to properly prepare. The Nuggets say a torn ACL is a year-long injury, and it takes months after that for a player to return to top form. The Warriors brought Klay Thompson back (albeit after two years away, caused by two devastating injuries) in January. He is still working his way back to form. The Heat eased Victor Oladipo back from quad surgery earlier this month, and is slowly working him into the rotation.

And if Murray were to fall short of his past performances, how would that affect him emotionally? What would the impact be on the players – Monté Morris, Hyland, to name two – whose playtime would shrink to make room for Murray, after their play helped the Nuggets get this far? These are the questions the organization is considering, from top to bottom. “We are really taking care of his mental health, for both of them, really,” one Nuggets source told me, echoing the sentiment of the six sources in or around the organization I spoke to last weekend. “Is it fair to the players for them to come back, this late?”

The Nuggets assigned Jamal Murray to their G League affiliate on Tuesday, two league sources told The Denver Post. The plan is for Murray to practice with Grand Rapids on Wednesday, with the potential for a second practice on Thursday, another source said. That’s dependent on how he feels, both physically and mentally, amid his ACL rehabilitation. Practice for Murray is expected to entail four-on-four and five-on-five in the half court, a source said.

There remains the possibility, perhaps even the likelihood, according to one source, that both Murray and Michael Porter Jr. will head to Grand Rapids to ramp up their returns. That could happen within the next week, said one person familiar with their thinking. Unlike the initial plan, if they went, it wouldn’t be for just one day. But comparing their respective injuries is a fool’s errand on a number of levels. First, Porter has had two prior back surgeries and has made this recovery before. Amid his rehab, he’s been eager and confident as his return to the court nears, sources said.

Nuggets scrap plan to send Michael Porter, Jamal Murray to G League for now

The Nuggets have scrapped plans to send Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray to Grand Rapids for the time-being, two league sources told The Denver Post on Thursday. Both Porter and Murray were set to fly to Grand Rapids and practice with the Gold on Friday, but logistical concerns, in addition to the fact that they’d only be there for one practice, altered the plan, sources said. Neither player has had any kind of setback, and there was also a sense that some of the work they would’ve done in Grand Rapids could get done in Denver.

However, there’s a possibility both could practice or scrimmage with the Gold in the future as both continue their respective rehabs. For now, they’ll both continue progressing and working out in Denver. The Denver Post previously reported Porter intended to practice with the Nuggets’ G League squad, but Murray’s inclusion wasn’t publicly known. There remains no timetable for Murray’s return, though the intention of rehabbing in Grand Rapids is a positive sign.

The ‘if’ component looms large here. If Murray is able to come back, and if he’s the same guy who starred in the Orlando bubble en route to a Western Conference finals appearance in 2020 and averaged 21.2 points, 4.8 assists and four rebounds last season before his injury, then Denver might be as dynamic as any other team in the West. But those are massive ‘ifs.’ “I think he cannot wait,” Jokić said of Murray. “He cannot wait to come back at the end, just because of how competitive he is. He’s traveling with us. He’s with us. So I think he’s in a good spot.”

Jamal Murray and Michael Porter back before playoffs?

There is a strong sense within the Denver Nuggets locker room that both Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. could be back in time for the playoffs, if not sooner, sources told The Athletic. Porter is on track to return in mid to late March, a source said. Murray has been out since tearing his left ACL last April. The 25-year-old averaged a career-high 21.2 points and a career-best 40.8 3-point shooting percentage last season.

A source with knowledge of Porter Jr.’s status said the 23-year-old is on track to return in mid- to late March. Murray’s timeline, meanwhile, is harder to handicap. Though his teammates have been given the impression he’s also likely to return in time for the playoffs, the combination of the severity of his injury and the sensitivity with which the Nuggets have handled his recovery means the team will handle the final stages of his process with the utmost care. Especially considering the workload Murray was prone to carrying for all those years before his injury.

Optimism exists that Michael Porter, Jamal Murray could return this season

Adrian Wojnarowski: There’s a lot of optimism about how he’s rehabbing and talking to Tim Connelly their president and Mark Bartelstein, Porter’s agent, they love the way he has come along. And there’s optimism we are going to see him again this season. And of course, Jamal Murray, another player with an ACL injury. They’ve not ruled out the possibility that he could be back later in the year. So you look at a Denver team that could possibly add back I think Michael Porter Jr. and we’ll see with Jamal Murray, and that’s a very formidable team in the playoffs.

Michael Malone: I’ll be honest, I really don’t go there a whole lot (mentally). I’m more of a day-to-day guy and trying to figure out a way to help this team stay afloat and become more consistent. I speak with Jamal all the time. We have a great relationship. And I’ve told him many times — and I think it’s important for him to hear it from me — (that) there’s absolutely zero pressure for him to come back this year. At the same time, I tell him, ‘Listen, if it’s in the cards for you to come back and play this year, great. If it’s not in the cards for you to come back and play this year, great.’ He’s gonna come back when he is ready. And as I mentioned last night, that doesn’t mean just from a physical standpoint — ‘Hey, the doctors have cleared Jamal Murray (down the line).’ But that’s (only) one part of it. The other huge part of it is the mental, the confidence, right? He is embracing and accepting that, so there’s zero pressure from me, from (Nuggets president of basketball operations) Tim Connelly, from anyone on our team, our training staff. Jamal Murray, honestly, will come back when he is ready.

But his absence also has implications for the Canadian National Team as it enters Olympic qualifying in Victoria, British Columbia June 29-July 4 . The winner of the event which also features China, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Uruguay and Greece (coached by Rick Pitino) will receive one of four remaining berths in the men’s Olympic basketball tournament this summer in Tokyo. Canada hasn’t made the Olympics since 2000, when current Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash was the team’s star.

Former Nuggets coach George Karl knows all too well how a magical season can be unraveled by the cruel twist of fate. His 2012-13 Denver team was cruising in the second half of the season on the way to a franchise-record 57 games, at one point winning 15 games in a row. But in the 76th game of the season, Danilo Gallinari, the team’s second-leading scorer, suffered a torn ACL that ended his season. The Nuggets won five of their final six games to end the regular season, but they suffered a first-round upset at the hands of the upstart Warriors. “Gallo flashback moment from eight years ago tonight,” Karl tweeted shortly after Murray suffered the knee injury.
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October 1, 2022 | 6:40 am EDT Update

Klay Thompson skipping both preseason games in Japan

 Klay Thompson will not play in either of the Golden State Warriors’ preseason games in Japan, coach Steve Kerr announced. Kerr said the decision was made out of an abundance of caution as the Warriors go through a condensed training camp. “Just feel more comfortable giving him a little more of a ramp up,” Kerr said ahead of the Warriors’ 96-87 win over the Washington Wizards on Friday. “He’s just not quite ready to play at this point just based on where, you know, we’re so early in camp. We just want to be safe and make sure he gets a good ramp up before he plays in games.”
“Just coming off the two years with the injuries, this is really unique to play a game after 3½ practices so we’re just being cautious and trying to do the smart thing,” Kerr said. Thompson was under a strict game restriction last season — starting under a minute restriction and never playing in back-to-back games — after missing two consecutive seasons with leg injuries.

Klay Thompson addresses 'mental block' during summer

Anthony Slater: Klay Thompson didn’t play pickup this summer. Called it a “mental block” he will eventually get over because of torn Achilles in summer ball. But that’s slowed his preseason ramp up. Called next week a “big week” as he revs back up for regular season. Here he is explaining it

LeBron James playing at least four preseason games?

James was asked after practice Friday how many preseason games he wants to participate in. “More than I played last year,” James said. “How many did I play last year? More than I played last year.” Last season, James played in three of the Lakers’ six preseason games. With a new coach in Darvin Ham, a new system and just six players returning from last season’s team, the plan for James playing preseason games is being worked out.
Ham said that they will “figure all of that out” in the coming days. “Obviously we have those type of things on our board and on our laundry list of things to get done,” Ham said. “But our focus has totally been on trying to establish a style of play on both sides of the ball, establish our principles and make sure we’re executing the basic foundation of who we are and what our identity will be. But definitely my coaching staff and I, we have had light discussions about what that’s going to look like, how many preseason games, how many minutes.”
Ham noted Nunn’s ability to score at all three levels, from three, to the mid-range, and at the rim, while praising his work defensively as well, showing that he can squeeze through pick and rolls, avoid screens and contest shots on the perimeter. It takes time for some players to learn how to play alongside a defensive magnet like LeBron, but that process has begun. “You deal with it by getting on the floor, getting in the game, logging minutes,” said LeBron. “You start to get more and more into the game, watching more and more film, more and more practices and it starts to come with time. I think that will continue to happen with the new guys we have this year.”
Cam Thomas had a promising rookie season in 2021-22, but his playing time evaporated when the Nets added Seth Curry and then Goran Dragic. If Thomas found minutes hard to come by down the stretch last season, he’s going to be facing an even more uphill climb to start his sophomore campaign. “We’ll see how it goes after training camp. But he clearly is on a veteran team with a lot of guys who can play, have had a lot of success,” Nets coach Steve Nash admitted. “We know Cam’s talented, and just trying to continue to develop him and see if he can keep pushing and getting better at certain things that’ll help him get minutes.