The Nuggets appeared to be a strong competitor in the 2020-21 season. However, Jamal Murray sustained an injury.
It appeared that the Nuggets were destined to defeat the Heat in the NBA Finals 2023, thereby setting a new record for their franchise’s history. Their impressive run was largely due to the return of Murray, who fully demonstrated his strength. However, Murray’s playoff hopes were dashed in both 2022 and 2021 due to a knee injury that kept him out of the title race. Consequently, the Nuggets decided to trade Gordon Aaron in order to gear themselves up for a deep playoff run.
Here’s the story of how Murray went from suffering a torn ACL to becoming an NBA champion in just two years.
ADDITIONAL: Indeed, Jamal Murray has now become a recognized superstar. Here’s the reason why.
Murray returns to the Denver lineup on April 12, 2021, following a four-game absence due to knee discomfort.
Murray tumbles to the floor after an attempted layup and is visibly suffering, promptly clutching his left knee in the final moments of the game.
Murray leaves the game and does not come back.
Jamal Murray was helped off the court after an apparent knee injury with 50 seconds left against the Warriors. pic.twitter.com/sz7akzOiq4
The Nuggets announced on April 13, 2021, that Murray has been diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee and will be sidelined indefinitely.
Head coach Michael Malone of the Denver Nuggets announced on April 21, 2021, that Murray has undergone surgical reconstruction of the ACL at the Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Cedars-Sinai, California, providing further details about the injury.
Murray posts a picture of himself in a hospital bed on Instagram.
Denver’s season comes to an end on June 13th with a loss of 4 games in the Western Conference Semifinals against Phoenix. Murray is absent.
On October 20, 2021, six months after his surgical procedure, Murray posts a video showcasing his ability to dunk using both feet.
Six months after ACL surgery, Jamal Murray is dunking. pic.twitter.com/V4BwttJhOk — Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) October 20, 2021
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, it is unlikely that Murray will return during the 2022 NBA Playoffs. Charania also mentioned that Murray’s progress is going well, but he will not be playing in Denver’s regular-season finale for the 2021-22 season. This report was published on April 9th.
Connelly asserts that the decision of when he will play rests solely with him and he does not dismiss the possibility of Murray making a comeback, as stated by Nuggets’ president Tim on April 13, 2022.
Connelly expressed his lack of surprise regarding the potential return of Murray, stating, “I wouldn’t be astonished in the slightest.” “Once Jamal feels prepared, he will enthusiastically make his way onto the field. He is currently in the final stages of recovery. The decision solely rests with him. We have consistently communicated to him that once he reaches specific benchmarks and appears to be in good physical condition, it is his responsibility to inform us when he is ready to resume playing.”
Connelly’s remarks come days after Malone states that Murray still faces a “significant mental obstacle to overcome.”
On April 19, 2022, Murray seems to explain the reason behind his absence despite receiving medical clearance to participate.
Y’all don’t think I wanna be out there huh.. crazy
April 27, 2022: The Warriors defeat the Nuggets in Game 5 to knock them out of the playoffs in the first round.
Murray continues to work his way back from a torn ACL as he misses all five postseason games and all 82 regular season games.
On September 27, 2022, Murray gives an update on his injury prior to the 2022-23 season.
He expressed, “I feel refreshed in a manner.” “It’s my seventh year engaging in this activity, yet it gives me the same excitement as the first day of school. I’m growing older. It’s an enjoyable experience. I’m simply delighted to be on the court and back in the action, not off somewhere undergoing rehabilitation, running around. I’m simply glad to be reestablishing my usual activities once more.”
Murray makes his comeback from injury on October 3, 2022, during a preseason match against the Thunder. Within a span of 15 minutes, he manages to accumulate a total of 10 points.
539 days later… BOUT THAT TIME!!
Murray played his first regular season game since his ACL injury on October 19, scoring 12 points on 5-for-13 shooting from the field in a blowout loss to the Jazz. He played for 26 minutes.
Murry stated, “Following the game, it is clear that I was trying to regain my form. In order to establish a flow, I quickly engaged with them, anticipating that I would have some excellent opportunities.”
On October 22, 2022, Murray participates in his initial regular season match in Denver after his comeback from an injury.
Fans were amazing let’s keep it going!! Preciate all the love 🖤 💯
On February 4, 2023, Murray leads the Nuggets to a blowout victory over the Hawks, marking his third straight game with 30 or more points, tying his longest career streak. He achieves this with a season-best 41 points.
“A menacing Jamal, a self-assured Jamal, is a frightening Jamal,” Malone expressed following the match.
On March 9, 2023, Denver emerges victorious over Sacramento in their last match of the 2022-23 regular season.
Murray finishes the season with an average of 20.0 points, 6.2 assists, and 4.0 rebounds, while shooting at rates of .454 from the field, .398 from beyond the three-point line, and .833 from the foul line, throughout 65 games.
On April 19, 2023, Murray achieves an outstanding score of 40 points, leading Denver to victory in Game 2 against Minnesota.
JAMAL MURRAY 40 PIECE 🔥 HE’S IN #PLAYOFFMODE 📺: TNT | Game 2 | DEN Leads 1-0 pic.twitter.com/LICF00q73X
Since 1997, Stephen Curry has been tying most of the time in the playoffs, scoring 20 points in a quarter. It’s the fifth time he has done this. In Game 2, the Lakers lead the series 2-0 and Murray scores 37 points in the fourth quarter, with 23 of his points coming in 2023.
23 POINTS IN THE FOURTH‼️ JAMAL MURRAY WENT OFF 🔥 pic.twitter.com/9gmhSXgAcq
Franchise history makes a defensive presence in the NBA Finals for the first time, but Murray scores 25 points to secure the win. He also plays strong defense on LeBron James in the final possession of the game, but Murray’s 25 points help secure the victory. He makes a big defensive play on LeBron James in the final possession of the game, contributing 25 points to the win. This is the franchise’s first time advancing to the NBA Finals in its history. It is the first time in franchise history that they have advanced to the NBA Finals.
On June 7, 2023, Nikola Jokic and Murray made history in the NBA by becoming the first teammates to record a triple-double and score 30 points each in the same game, leading the Nuggets to a road win over the Heat and taking a 2-1 lead to regain the advantage of homecourt.
Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray are the first pair of teammates with triple-doubles in Finals history! Jokic: 32 PTS, 21 REB, 10 AST Murray: 34 PTS, 10 REB, 10 AST DEN/MIA Game 4: Friday, 8:30pm/et on ABC pic.twitter.com/0hLcPvv0zN
He becomes the first player in NBA history to record more than 10 assists in his first four Finals games. On June 9, 2023, Murray dishes out 12 assists to help Miami win Game 4 and take a 3-1 lead in the series against Denver.
🇨🇦 THE CANADIANS 🇨🇦 Jamal Murray | vs. Miami (Game 4) 15 POINTS 2 THREE POINTERS 12 ASSISTS 3 REBOUNDS@nuggets | #NBAFinals The NBA Finals are presented by @DoorDash. pic.twitter.com/CANLePSp5y
The Nuggets make history on June 12, 2023, as they secure their first-ever franchise championship by prevailing over the Heat in a five-game series.