Nuggets Grizzlies injury report: Are Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray playing tonight?

Feb 28, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) reacts with center Nikola Jokic (15)
Feb 28, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) reacts with center Nikola Jokic (15) / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets are rolling. They’ve won three straight, and they’re a league-best 14-2 since the All-Star break. In that time they’ve managed to become the first team in the Western Conference to reach 50 wins, and they now lead the Oklahoma City Thunder for the number one seed by half a game.

But in their most recent game, they had to get by without their stars, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray who both sat out Saturday’s game in Portland. Now the question is whether those stars will return on Monday night to host the Grizzlies in Ball Arena.

On the one hand, the Grizzlies are one of the worst teams in the league this season, are facing a litany of their own injuries, and the Nuggets could easily win this game even without their top two in action.

But on the other hand, the Grizzlies have battled teams regardless of who’s in or out of the lineup and they recently saw Desmond Bane return to the lineup. Plus, the Nuggets can’t afford to drop games like this if they hope to hold off the Thunder for the one seed.

Attempting to balance health/rest and winning down the stretch of the season can be tricky, but the Nuggets need to be smart with their proven track record, even if it ultimately costs them the top seed.

Nuggets injury report

Yet again, Jokic (low back pain/left hip inflammation) and Murray (left ankle sprain) are listed as ‘Questionable’ for the game on Monday. Neither one played on Saturday, but they’ll both have had extra rest and may want to get back in action at home. It’s not like the team is going to suddenly shut these guys down for the last three weeks of the season if they are healthy.

Zeke Nnaji (right adductor tendinitis) and Vlatko Cancar (knee) remain ‘Out’ for Denver.

Grizzlies injury report

As has unfortunately been the case all season, the Memphis injury report is a real doozy. Ja Morant (shoulder), Marcus Smart (finger), Luke Kennard (personal), Derrick Rose (groin/back), and Ziaire Williams (back/hip) are ‘Out’ for Monday night’s game.

On top of that, Brandon Clarke (Achilles), John Konchar (heel), and Vince Williams Jr. (patellar) are listed as ‘Doubtful’ for the game. Desmond Bane (back), Jake LaRavia (illness), and Lamar Stevens (adductor) are also ‘Questionable’.

Betting odds

Amidst all the injury uncertainty, the Nuggets are currently listed as 14.5-point favorites and the total for the game is set at 214.5 points.