Murray Tears ACL, Out Indefinitely
The Denver Nuggets have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA in recent weeks, but that’s likely going to change now.
Guard Jamal Murray will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL and could miss time in 2021-22 as well.
The injury happened in the fourth quarter of a Monday night loss to the Golden State Warriors. It had already been a disappointing night for the Nuggets, but things got much worse in the final minute of the game.
Denver was trailing 111-104 when Murray was driving to the lane and looking to split a pair of defenders. He fell to the ground in pain, and it was clear that this was a non-contact sort of injury, the type that is usually the most problematic.
Head coach Mike Malone was the first on the floor to check on his star guard but quickly requested the aid of medical staff and personnel. Murray was able to hop off the floor with trainers’ help after denying being taken out on a wheelchair.
The team declined to comment on the extent of the injury after the game but did announce that more tests were scheduled for Tuesday. Later that day, the team revealed Murray had torn the ligament and would undergo surgery in the coming days.
Murray has been dealing with injuries throughout the 2020-21 season but was starting to regain the form he built during the playoff run from a season ago. The 24-year-old was averaging 21.2 points, 4.8 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game while helping the Nuggets into second place in the Northwest Division.
Denver made a surprising run to the Western Conference Finals a season ago, and it was Murray that was leading the way. During the 19 games in the postseason, Murray averaged 26.5 points, 6.6 assists, and had a 45.3% three-point shooting percentage.
Odds Shift With Murray Out
The Denver Nuggets were starting to be a popular pick to win the NBA Finals, or at least win the Western Conference. Betting odds had shortened considerably in the last few weeks, but those odds have now gone the other direction.
Denver had seen its odds climb to +1600 to win the NBA Championship entering Monday night, and CO sportsbooks were seeing some action on the Nuggets. After the injury news was announced on Tuesday, the odds had shifted to as much as +3000 at some sportsbooks.
Odds to win the Western Conference shot up too, reaching around +1200 after Murray’s injury, and they had been as high as +900 at some sportsbooks. Denver currently has the fifth-best odds to win the West behind the Lakers, Clippers, Jazz, and Suns.
Nikola Jokic has emerged as the clear frontrunner to win the MVP Award this season, and those odds have increased now that Murray will no longer be available. On Monday, Jokic had odds of -167 to win the award, but now a wager can be made at -195 for the Nuggets superstar.
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