The quarterfinals for the NBA In-Season Tournament are set, and the Denver Nuggets will be watching from the couch. Well, kind of.
While the knockout stage is being played out, the Nuggets will have a pair of games of their own to help round out their 82-game schedule.
According to the NBA, Denver will play games against the LA Clippers and Houston Rockets on Dec. 6 and 8, respectively.
When the competition was officially announced over the summer, it was made clear that all non-final tournament games would count towards each team's regular-season record. With Denver being eliminated early, the league owed them two extra games to bring their total to 82.
Whichever teams win up in the final of the tournament will play an 83rd game, but it will not count towards anything besides the competition itself.
Jamal Murray could return to Denver Nuggets this week
By the time that the Nuggets face off against the Clippers and Rockets again, they could be adding some extra firepower to the lineup.
According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, star guard Jamal Murray could be back on the floor for Denver as early as this week.
"I've been told that Jamal Murray will not return tonight against the Clippers," Charania revealed on FanDuel TV. "But, after tonight, it's going to be a day-by-day process in the coming days. He could return this week. He could return as soon as Wednesday at home against the (Houston) Rockets, or on the road Friday against the (Phoenix) Suns. They're going to just see how he feels literally day by day."
Denver has now missed Murray for 11-straight games, after he strained his right hamstring in a win over the Chicago Bulls on Nov. 4. In those games, they've tallied a record of 6-5, not quite playing at the level that they'd hope to as defending champs.