Nuggets Notes: Jokic, Porter, Murray, Schedule

Nikola Jokic returned to action on Tuesday after missing two games due to left hamstring tightness and looked like his usual self, posting a 25-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist triple double in a one-point win in New Orleans. However, the Nuggets star was sidelined again on Wednesday in Milwaukee, ruled out due to hamstring tightness.

According to Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link), Jokic’s absence on Wednesday appeared to be simply precautionary on the second night of a back-to-back set. The two-time MVP took part in pregame warmups prior to tip-off on Wednesday, and there was no indication that he aggravated his hamstring injury in his return on Tuesday.

Here’s more on the Nuggets:

  • Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. missed a third consecutive game on Wednesday for personal reasons. He has been out since word broke on Sunday that his younger brother, University of Denver sophomore guard Coban Porter, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide and reckless driving, as Shelly Bradbury of The Denver Post details. Coban Porter crashed into another car around 2:00 am on Sunday morning and the driver of the other vehicle died at the scene. Police alleged the 21-year-old ran a red light before the collision and smelled like alcohol and was slurring his words following the incident.
  • Jamal Murray has averaged 21.6 PPG on .477/.449/.905 shooting over his last 16 games, but there are still moments when he doesn’t feel all the way back from the ACL tear that cost him all of last season, he admits to Sam Amick of The Athletic. Examining Murray’s journey back from that injury and the Nuggets’ chances of winning a championship, Amick suggests that the 25-year-old guard may represent the key to Denver’s title hopes.
  • What should have been a showdown between two recent MVPs on Wednesday turned into a bit of a dud when the Nuggets sat Jokic, Murray, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks on the second night of a back-to-back. Head coach Michael Malone expressed some disappointment that the NBA didn’t “set this game up to be a little bit more of a marquee matchup,” but added that he sympathizes with the schedule-makers, according to Singer of The Denver Post. “The league has an impossible job,” Malone said.
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