Final Nuggets regular season injury report: Jokic, Murray, starters playing Sunday?

Utah Jazz v Denver Nuggets
Utah Jazz v Denver Nuggets / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

81 of 82 regular season games are in the books for every NBA team and the regular season will conclude on Sunday afternoon. The Nuggets have a lot to play for, thanks to their disappointing loss in San Antonio on Friday night. But as a result, they don’t actually have very much control over the situation.

If the Timberwolves and Thunder win their games, the Nuggets will be the third seed regardless of the outcome. They need to win and hope that OKC and/or the Wolves falter. If both lose and Denver wins, they’ll get the one seed, and the Nuggets can pass either one if they lose for the two seed.

The problem is that a Thunder loss seems highly unlikely. They are facing the Mavericks, who are locked into the fifth seed and have already announced they’ll be resting players. The Wolves game is more in doubt, as they’ll be playing a Suns team that is battling to avoid the play-in tournament. Still, the Wolves will be favored to win and secure a top-two seed.

The point is, no matter how well Denver plays on Sunday, and even if they win, it may not help them move up in the standings; the three seed is now by far the most likely outcome. For that reason, the Nuggets may choose to sit their starters out for the regular season finale and enter the playoffs with a little extra rest.

Nuggets injury report

Considering that, it should come as no surprise that the Nuggets are listing all five starters, Nikola Jokic (hip), Jamal Murray (knee), Aaron Gordon (foot), Michael Porter Jr. (illness), and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (shoulder) as ‘Questionable for the game against the Grizzlies. Backup point guard Reggie Jackson (calf) and backup big man Zeke Nnaji (adductor) are also questionable, while Vlatko Cancar (knee) is ‘Out’.

Grizzlies injury report

The good news for the Nuggets is that they may be able to toe the line a bit because the Grizz have been the most banged-up team in the NBA this season and come in with a ridiculous injury report.

They’ve listed all of the following players ‘Out’ for Sunday: Santi Aldama (foot), Desmond Bane (lumbar disc), Brandon Clarke (hand), Jaren Jackson Jr. (quad), Luke Kennard (knee), John Konchar (foot), Ja Morant (shoulder), Derrick Rose (groin/back), Marcus Smart (finger), Lamar Stevens (adductor), Yuta Watanabe (person), Vince Williams Jr. (patellar), and Zhiare Williams (back/hip).

That’s basically an entire roster full of talent that will be out for Memphis, and they’ll be resorting to two-way players, g-league players, and guys they’ve added off the streets throughout the year. They’ll fight hard, but there’s a solid chance the Nuggets can secure this win even without their starters.

Betting odds

The Nuggets are currently listed as 16.5-point road favorites in Memphis for the regular season finale.