Jamal Murray

Injury Notes: Beal, J. Murray, Jazz, Magic

Suns guard Bradley Beal has been limited to just three games for his new team so far this season and hasn’t played since November 12 due to back problems. However, the hope is that he won’t be sidelined for too much longer, Shams Charania of The Athletic said during an appearance on The Rally (Twitter video link).

“I’m told Beal has started his ramp-up process and he’s continuing to progress in that ramp-up,” Charania said. “The goal is to track toward a return soon, potentially over the next 10 days, as long as the progress continues. But we know it’s been a fluid process with this back (issue). The back can be something that you have to be cautious with.”

As Charania notes, the Suns are willing to be patient with Beal since their priority is to be healthy when the postseason begins in the spring — they’d rather hold him out for a few extra games now if it means having him available in April.

Phoenix has also been playing relatively well without its third star, lessening the need to get Beal back on the court as soon as possible. Since Devin Booker returned on Nov. 15, the Suns are 8-3 — and Booker sat out one of those three losses.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, who injured his right ankle in his first game back from a hamstring injury last Wednesday, is considered questionable to return to action tonight vs. the Clippers, per Bennett Durando of The Denver Post. “Hamstring’s fine. I’ve worked enough to get it back to strength,” Murray said. “Now it’s just another thing.” As Durando points out, Murray would become eligible for a super-max extension if he earns All-NBA honors this season, but he’ll fall short of the 65-game minimum required for All-NBA consideration if he misses five more contests.
  • Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson will miss a third straight game on Wednesday in Dallas due to a right thigh contusion, the team announced (via Twitter). Kelly Olynyk (right shoulder strain) has been ruled out for a second consecutive game, while Lauri Markkanen (left hamstring strain) will remain unavailable for a sixth game in a row. The expectation is that Markkanen will be reevaluated at some point this week, at which time we may get a better sense of his recovery timeline.
  • Magic guard Markelle Fultz (left knee tendinitis), who has been ruled out for a 13th straight game, is “progressing slowly” and still isn’t doing full contact work in practices, head coach Jamahl Mosley said on Tuesday, per Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel (subscription required). Jonathan Isaac, who has logged just seven minutes in Orlando’s past four games due to ankle issues, is listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game in Cleveland, Beede adds.

Injury Notes: Haliburton, Bam, K. Murray, Nuggets, Suns, Hornets

Pacers point guard Tyrese Haliburton is expected to be out for Saturday’s game against Miami, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. Indiana’s best player is officially listed as questionable.

As Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star tweets, Haliburton missed the team’s shootaround this morning due to a right knee bone bruise and an upper respiratory infection. The Pacers went just 6-20 without Haliburton last season, notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (via Twitter).

Haliburton, who signed a five-year, maximum-salary rookie scale extension in the offseason, is off to an All-NBA-caliber start to 2023/24, averaging career highs of 27.0 points and a league-leading 11.8 assists per game while posting an elite .519/.447/.880 shooting line. The Pacers host the Celtics on Monday for the quarterfinal of the league’s inaugural in-season tournament, so hopefully he’ll be back in time for that contest.

Heat center Bam Adebayo has also been ruled out of Saturday’s contest due to a left hip contusion, tweets Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (subscriber link) wouldn’t be surprised to see Orlando Robinson get the starting nod in his place, with Kevin Love continuing to come off the bench due to the synergy he’s developing with the second unit.

Here are a few more injury notes from around the NBA:

  • Kings forward Keegan Murray, the No. 4 overall pick of last year’s draft, will return on Saturday against Denver after missing four games due to lower back soreness, sources tell Sean Cunningham of Fox 40 KTXL (Twitter link). As for the Nuggets, Jamal Murray (ankle) and Aaron Gordon (heel) are questionable after missing Friday’s game against Phoenix, according to Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports (Twitter link).
  • Suns star Devin Booker is questionable for Saturday’s contest vs. Memphis, notes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Booker, who is dealing with an ankle sprain, missed Friday’s game against Denver. Eric Gordon is also questionable due to a right knee contusion.
  • Hornets backup center Nick Richards will return to action on Saturday after missing the previous six games while in the league’s concussion protocol, the team announced (via Twitter). No. 2 overall pick Brandon Miller will also be available after missing Charlotte’s last game with a left ankle injury.

Injury Notes: Oubre, Sixers, Edwards, Murray, Booker, Wiggins

Sixers wing Kelly Oubre was a full practice participant on Thursday and also did some extra work after practice, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Oubre hasn’t played since November 10 after being struck by a vehicle. There was initially some optimism that he could be upgraded from out to questionable for Friday’s matchup with Boston, but sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium that the veteran swingman is targeting a return next week, possibly Wednesday against Washington or Friday against Atlanta (Twitter link).

According to Pompey, X-rays on Nicolas Batum‘s injured finger were negative and he plans to play against the Celtics. Star center Joel Embiid is questionable with an illness, but head coach Nick Nurse thinks he’ll be ready to go, Pompey adds.

Here are a few more injury notes:

  • Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards sustained a bruised right hip on Tuesday against Oklahoma City after taking a hard fall, causing him to exit the game, according to an Associated Press report relayed by ESPN.com. Edwards is officially listed as doubtful for Thursday’s game against Utah, but forward Kyle Anderson indicated the fourth-year guard won’t play, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Free agent addition Troy Brown is likely to start in Edwards’ place, Krawczynski adds (via Twitter).
  • Making his return from a hamstring injury on Wednesday, Nuggets guard Jamal Murray contributed 16 points (on 4-of-14 shooting), six rebounds and six assists in 22 minutes. However, he appeared to roll his right ankle and might miss Friday’s contest in Phoenix, writes Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post. Murray said he was “frustrated” by the ankle injury, which he iced throughout the game when he wasn’t playing.
  • The Suns got good and bad news on Wednesday. Kevin Durant returned from a two-game absence in the loss to Toronto, but Devin Booker suffered a right ankle injury after landing on Dennis Schröder‘s foot, according to Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. It’s unclear if Booker will miss time with the injury, but he had his worst game of the season trying to play through it yesterday.
  • Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins has been ruled out of Thursday’s game against the Clippers, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. The former No. 1 overall pick is dealing with right finger soreness. Golden State will be shorthanded, as Chris Paul (leg contusion) and Gary Payton II (calf) are also out.

Nuggets’ Jamal Murray Cleared To Return

NOVEMBER 29: Murray will return to the lineup for tonight’s game against the Rockets, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

NOVEMBER 27: Nuggets guard Jamal Murray will miss tonight’s game against the Clippers, but he could be back in action later this week, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (video link). Charania called Murray’s return “imminent” and said he might be available Wednesday against Houston or Friday at Phoenix.

It will be a “day-by-day process” for Murray after tonight, Charania adds, with the medical staff monitoring how he feels each day.

Denver is just 5-5 without Murray, who suffered a right hamstring strain on November 4. The defending champions have fallen out of the top spot in the West and are currently bunched with several teams at 11-6.

Murray is the Nuggets’ second-best player and he has an on-court chemistry with Nikola Jokic that makes the team extremely hard to defend. Murray was averaging 16.3 PPG in seven games before the injury along with a career-high 7.4 assists per night while shooting a career-best 43.8% from three-point range.

Prior to the hamstring issue, Murray hadn’t experienced any significant injuries since returning from the ACL tear that forced him to miss the entire 2021/22 season.

Charania described Murray as “one of the game’s great competitors” and notes that he was shooting jumpers in street clothes during halftime of a recent game.

Injury Notes: McCollum, James, Reddish, Murray, Markkanen, Durant, Connaughton

Pelicans guard CJ McCollum has been upgraded to questionable for Wednesday’s game against Philadelphia, the team’s PR department tweets. McCollum has been out since Nov. 4 after being diagnosed with a collapsed lung. McCollum has missed New Orleans’ last 12 games.

Trey Murphy III (knee) and Matt Ryan (calf) have been upgraded to doubtful. Murphy, a starter most of last season, has yet to make his season debut. Ryan hasn’t played since Nov. 18.

We have more injury-related updates:

  • Lakers star LeBron James is listed as questionable to play against Detroit on Wednesday due to a left calf contusion, according to the team’s PR department (hat tip to Orange County Register’s Khobi Price). Cam Reddish (left groin strain) and Anthony Davis (left adductor) are listed as probable, while Gabe Vincent, Rui Hachimura and Jarred Vanderbilt will not play.
  • Jamal Murray has been upgraded to questionable for the Nuggets’ game against Houston on Wednesday, Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports tweets. Murray has been out since Nov. 4 due to a hamstring strain.
  • Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen will miss at least two more games due to a left hamstring strain, Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets. He’ll be reevaluated after the team returns from its two-game road trip.
  • The Suns have listed Kevin Durant (right foot contusion) and Grayson Allen (illness) as questionable to play Wednesday against Toronto, Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports tweets.
  • Pat Connaughton exited the Bucks’ game on Tuesday early with a right ankle sprain, the team tweets.

Nuggets’ Michael Malone To Make Changes To Bench Rotation

The Nuggets concluded a 1-4 road trip by losing to the Rockets by 19 points on Friday, prompting coach Michael Malone to promise that changes to the rotation were on the way, as relayed by The Denver Post’s Bennett Durando.

I just told them,” Malone said. “Minutes, I’m gonna start playing different people. You just can’t go out there because you think you’re gonna play, and go out there and do nothing. You’ve gotta bring something to the party.

Denver’s bench was outscored 16-0 in the first half on Friday with Christian Braun, Peyton Watson, Zeke Nnaji and Julian Strawther the headliners of the second unit. Braun had a good road trip, according to Durando, but Watson was a minus-24 and Strawther was a minus-36 during that stretch, while Nnaji was a minus-10 before Friday, a game in which he got pulled after one minute.

The Nuggets have put an emphasis on a two-timeline plan this offseason, as evidenced by using three draft picks this year and entrusting young players like Braun, Nnaji and Watson with heavy minutes. That plan is being put to the test with star guard Jamal Murray having been out since Nov. 4. Malone said he hopes Murray comes back “really, really soon,” according to Vinny Benedetto of The Denver Gazette (Twitter link).

One such change is seemingly going to be a minutes increase for Justin Holiday, according to Durando. Holiday only averages 8.2 minutes and has seen time in just six games, but he drew praise from Malone after Friday’s contest.

I thought Justin played pretty well,” Malone said. “So we’ll see. We’re going home. Very disappointing road trip. … That’s the challenge when you have so many young, unproven players off the bench. But we also have games to win, and that delicate balance is a tightrope. But we need to win, and I’m gonna play the guys that are gonna help us get a win.”

Even though Reggie Jackson hasn’t been able to replicate what Murray brought to the starting lineup, Malone continues to praise the guard, whose production helped offset the bench’s issues when Murray was healthy.

We’re playing lineups out there with no point guard,” Malone said. “We probably had quite a few minutes of that tonight. … Reggie, I think, has done a really good job in place of Jamal. But just like if Nikola goes down, we don’t have another Nikola Jokic. We don’t have another Jamal Murray.

Outside of turning to Holiday, Denver’s options off the bench are limited. Vlatko Cancar was expected to play a bigger role this year but is missing the season with an ACL injury he suffered in August. Denver also has rookies Jalen Pickett and Hunter Tyson under standard contracts but that might not solve the issue of giving too much responsibility to younger players.

Outside of that, the only other veteran who isn’t currently a part of the rotation is 35-year-old DeAndre Jordan. Two-way players Collin Gillespie, Jay Huff and Braxton Key could also be in line for minutes.

Nuggets Notes: Malone, Jokic, Gordon, Adelman, Murray

Nuggets coach Michael Malone and superstar Nikola Jokic were both ejected during the first half at Detroit on Monday. They watched in the locker room as the team pulled out a 107-103 victory over the downtrodden Pistons, Bennett Durando of the Denver Post writes.

“When you make a good play, we’re pumping our fists, we’re excited, we’re hugging,” Malone said. “And when you don’t make a good play, I’m cursing in Serbian.”

At times, Malone had to isolate himself during the tightly-contested game.

“I can’t just sit there,” he said. “I was in the back room, the training room, the locker room. And if (Detroit) went on a run, I’d go to a different room to see if I could switch the mojo up a little bit.”

We have more on the Nuggets:

  • David Adelman filled in for Malone, as he has in the past, and forward Aaron Gordon said Adelman is overdue for a head coaching job, he told Durando in the same story. “D.A. could be a head coach anywhere in the league,” Gordon said. “He deserves a head coach job. We’re lucky that he’s with us. We’re happy that he’s with us, for times like this.” Adelman interviewed for the Raptors’ head coaching opening this past offseason.
  • Gordon understands why Jokic has gotten frustrated with the officiating, Durando tweets. “He doesn’t need to apologize. They’re fouling him, and they’re not reffing him by the book,” Gordon said. “They’re putting two hands on him. They’re pushing him. It’s a foul.”
  • Jamal Murray hasn’t played since Nov. 4 due to a right hamstring strain and he’s unlikely to return during the current road trip, Katy Winge of AltitudeTV tweets. Malone said there’s “still some work to be done for him to be cleared.” Murray has been doing pregame workouts and some sprinting.
  • Malone has officially signed a multi-year extension. Get the details here.

Injury Notes: Murray, Beal, AD, Pistons

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone says Jamal Murray will be traveling with the team during its upcoming road trip, which includes five games from November 17-24.

“I don’t know if on this road trip he’ll play or not, but I know from all the reports I’m getting he’s working really hard to get back and making positive strides every day,” Malone said, per Vinny Benedetto of The Denver Gazette (Twitter link).

A report last week indicated that Murray, who sustained a right hamstring strain on November 4, would likely be sidelined three-to-four weeks. The fact that he’s progressing so quickly is an encouraging sign.

Still, while Murray may have a chance to play on the road trip, that doesn’t necessarily mean he will, observes Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports (via Twitter).

Here are a few more injury notes from around the NBA:

  • Bradley Beal missed Wednesday’s game for the Suns after his lower back issue flared up yesterday morning, according to Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic (Twitter link). Head coach Frank Vogel later confirmed that Beal woke up with back tightness that didn’t dissipate in time to play (Twitter link via Rankin). Vogel was evasive about a return timeline for the three-time All-Star guard, simply saying Phoenix has a plan to get him back in the lineup. Beal has only appeared in three games thus far for the 5-6 Suns, whose next two games are in Utah on Friday and Sunday.
  • Lakers big man Anthony Davis admits he was battling left hip soreness during Wednesday’s loss to Sacramento, which was the second of a back-to-back, but he refused to use the injury as an excuse for his performance, writes ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “I just played bad,” Davis said after tying a season low with nine points on 3-of-9 shooting. “I’m not going to put it on anything. … It was just missed shots. I just played like s— tonight. It’s that simple.” Davis, who missed a game-and-a-half last week with left adductor/hip spasms, said he’ll be ready to go for Friday’s matchup in Portland, McMenamin adds.
  • Pistons forward Isaiah Livers has yet to make his 2023/24 season debut after suffering a Grade III left ankle sprain prior to training camp. While there’s still no timeline for his return, the 25-year-old was a full practice participant on Thursday afternoon, head coach Monty Williams told reporters, including Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). Williams also said there were “no updates” on veteran guard Monte Morris, who is battling a right quad strain, tweets James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. “Hopefully we can get him to ramp up soon,” Williams said.

Jamal Murray Likely Out 3-4 Weeks With Hamstring Strain

Nuggets guard Jamal Murray will likely be out three-to-four weeks due to his right hamstring strain, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Murray sustained the injury in the second quarter of Saturday’s game vs. Chicago. In addition to missing the rest of that contest, he also sat out Monday’s game and will likely be sidelined for the remainder of November, according to Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski’s report lines up with what head coach Michael Malone said on Monday.

“We’ll kind of continue to talk to our doctors, but his injury is not a one- or two-game injury,” Malone said. “That’s what I do know. This will be something that will be longer than we would like.

“… You have to have the big picture in mind and make sure we’re putting him in position to get healthy before he comes back. Because this is an injury that, if you keep having recurring hamstring injuries or soft tissue injuries, they can linger and become even worse. And that’s the one thing we do not want to happen.”

It’s a tough blow for Murray, who missed the entire 2021/22 season with a torn ACL. His return last season was well worth the wait, however, as he had a spectacular playoff run in helping Denver win its first title.

Through six healthy games, Murray was averaging 18.7 PPG, 2.7 RPG and 8.7 APG on .436/.438/.842 shooting (34.4 MPG). Denver’s starting point guard is under contract through ’24/25.

Murray is one of the players who would become eligible for a super-max veteran extension – worth 35% of the cap instead of 30% – if he earns All-NBA honors in ’23/24. But the league instituted a games-played requirement (min. 65) to make All-NBA teams going forward, and the 26-year-old will likely be out at least 12-to-14 games with the hamstring strain. Even assuming he has an All-NBA caliber season, it could be challenging for him to play at least 65 games.

Reggie Jackson has been starting in Murray’s place, with Collin Gillespie receiving minutes at backup point guard. Rookie first-rounder Julian Strawther has also been receiving more run and playing well. The defending champions are currently 7-1 ahead of Wednesday’s matchup with Golden State.

Jamal Murray Sidelined By Hamstring Strain

The Nuggets will go without their backcourt star for an indefinite period.

Coach Michael Malone revealed on Monday that Jamal Murray will be sidelined for multiple games due to a right hamstring strain, according to Bennett Durando of the Denver Post.

“We’ll kind of continue to talk to our doctors, but his injury is not a one- or two-game injury,” Malone said prior to Denver’s game against New Orleans. “That’s what I do know. This will be something that will be longer than we would like.

“… You have to have the big picture in mind and make sure we’re putting him in position to get healthy before he comes back. Because this is an injury that, if you keep having recurring hamstring injuries or soft tissue injuries, they can linger and become even worse. And that’s the one thing we do not want to happen.”

Murray suffered the strain during the second quarter of Saturday’s game against Chicago.

Without him, the Nuggets will rely on veteran Reggie Jackson, who had been serving as the team’s sixth man. Two-way player Collin Gillespie and rookie second-round draft pick Jalen Pickett could see more action at the point, while shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope may have more ball-handling responsibilities.

Rookie guard Julian Strawther will also see his minutes uptick. He had 21 points in 19 minutes in Denver’s victory over the Pelicans.

Of course, Denver also has the top passing big man in the game in Nikola Jokic.