Overreaction theater: 5 major takeaways from Timberwolves game 1 win over Nuggets

Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets - Game One
Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets - Game One / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages
5 of 6

#4: Jamal Murray needs to get healthy, fast

Jamal Murray didn’t look right at all in the first half, hobbling around, failing to score or make shots, and getting targeted relentlessly on the defensive end. Murray’s late-game heroics against the Lakers masked a pretty poor overall performance, but that’s not going to work in this series.

The Nuggets need a legitimate star sidekick to Jokic to have a real chance and Murray wasn’t able to provide that on Saturday night. He had a better second half and got it going a little bit but that was nowhere near the effort required.

It’s not clear exactly how much of this is health-related as Murray has been dealing with a calf strain, but he’s going to have to find a way to be better. Michael Porter Jr. was the Nuggets’ second-best player for much of the night, and while that’s great that he’s playing so well it can’t be in place of the Murray role.

Hopefully, with time Murray will heal physically and start to look better, but it’s only one day off before these teams are back at it for a critical game 2. The Nuggets need to find ways to hide Murray on defense, mitigating his ineffectiveness on that end. And on offense, they need to get him going early with some open looks to take some pressure off of Jokic.