Nikola Jokic has quite a bit of faith in his Denver Nuggets teammates. The Serbian big man revealed his expectations for the team while Jamal Murray works his way back from a hamstring injury.
“If we miss a guy, we have guys that can step in and get the job done,” Jokic said (h/t Tony Jones). “And our system is good because everyone that we put on the court can play. Jamal is so important to us. He was a huge part in us winning a championship. He is someone who can go and get 30 points. We have guys who can step up. Maybe they won’t get 30, but they can fill spots in other ways.”
So far, Jokic has been right. Both Julian Strawther and Michael Porter Jr. have stepped up in Murray’s absence. On Monday night against the New Orleans Pelicans, the duo combined to score 43 points on an efficient 16-of-29 shooting performance.
Strawther has gotten off to a solid start in his rookie campaign in very limited minutes. So far, he’s averaged 6.8 points per game off the bench while shooting 48.5% from the field and 40.9% from long range.
Murray’s injury may give the rookie an opportunity to play his way into a permanent spot in Michael Malone’s rotation.
Michael Malone gives update on Jamal Murray’s return to the Denver Nuggets
Speaking of Malone, he was the one who broke the news that Murray would be out for a little while with the hamstring strain.
“We’ll kind of continue to talk to our doctors, but his injury is not a one- or two-game injury,” Malone said (h/t Bennett Durando). “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.”
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