The Denver Nuggets were handed an embarrassing loss at the hands of the Utah Jazz on opening night of the 2022-23 season. The Jazz burst out of the gates, nailing plenty of 3-pointers and despite a late comeback, the Nuggets start the season with a loss.
Nikola Jokic started the game off perfectly, taking and making every shot that came his way en route to an efficient 27 points, four rebounds, and six assists. But despite an MVP-level showing from the two-time MVP, the rest of the roster looked shell-shocked by an energetic Jazz uniform.
But what did the Denver Nuggets learn from the opening night clash of 2022-23?
Jamal Murray is back but we need to be patient
After over a season away from the game, Jamal Murray returned to the court and he definitely looked like he hadn’t played an NBA game in a long time.
In 26 minutes of action, Murray scored 12 points while hitting five of his 13 shots and turning the ball over three times. In the minutes he played, the Nuggets posted an 80 offensive rating and he had a shocking turnover percentage of 18.2.
It wasn’t great.
He had some flashes of brilliance but it was very much a flash.
Speaking with Mike Singer, The Denver Post, Murray was honest about his performance:
"“I know I’m smiling. We lost. I’ve never smiled in a loss before… It’s just good to see myself out there, honestly.”"
It’s also very much in line with Jokic’s preseason expectations of the team when he said Jamal will probably suck for the first 20 games, then he’ll ramp back up to his expected form.
Regardless, the first game is behind us and Jamal can only get better as he rounds back into game shape and form.