Denver Nuggets head coach Mike Malone has said that starting point guard Jamal Murray is "devastated" after suffering a season-ending torn ACL injury. With 50 seconds left to go in a 116-107 loss to the Golden State Warriors, Murray suffered an ACL injury and he is set to miss the rest of the season.
In their first game without Murray, the Nuggets delivered a good team performance as they beat the Miami Heat 123-106. "It's been an emotional 24, 36 hours," Malone said before the Nuggets routed the visiting Heat, per ESPN.
"Jamal is devastated, understandably so. I think the team is also a little. We understand the importance of Jamal Murray. We are a better team when Jamal Murray is healthy. ... He is almost second in every major [statistical] category on the team behind Nikola [Jokic]."
Nikola Jokic sad to see Murray injured
Murray was averaging 21.2 points, 4.8 assists and four rebounds before he went down with an Injury. "It's a sad thing, of course," Jokic said. "Me and him, we have a lot of connections on the floor.
We are really good with each other on the court, and we are going to miss him on the team. He is a big part of our team, but that doesn't mean we are going to quit, you know? "It's a really bad thing that happened to us, but we need to keep moving [forward]."
The Nuggets were devastated on the plane home after the Warriors game but they played with joy against the Heat. "It was really hard. We stayed over for that game in San Francisco," Malone said. "Just sitting with him on the way to the airport, your heart breaks because you can see the raw emotion that he was feeling."
The Nuggets won't quit after the Murray injury as they will try to surprise everyone and win the title. "I mean, I'm the underdog my whole life, to be honest," said Jokic, who had 17 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds against Miami.
"I am kind of used to it. It is normal position for me. "[Playing the role of underdog] gives us a lot of relief. We are not going to be tense. We are just going to play. We just need to figure these 16, 17 games, how we want to play. We need to build it. It is not going to happen in a moment."