In what may prove to be one of the most pivotal late-game matchups of the 2018-19 NBA season, the Denver Nuggets travel to take on the Golden State Warriors Tuesday night. The Nuggets and Warriors have been jockeying for the top spot in the Western Conference for some time now, but as of late it’s been Golden State holding the No. 1 seed.
Things can get interesting if Denver pulls off the road victory, as it would leave the teams with the same 52-25 record and five games remaining. The Nuggets also need this win to even up the season series at 2-2 after dropping two straight by double figures against Stephen Curry and company. These losses came after Denver grabbed a two-point home win in their third game of the season.
There are plenty of storylines in this matchup, but one heading into it will be the status of Nuggets guard Jamal Murray. We’re going to breakdown the latest on Murray as well as the team’s roster and starting lineup.
Latest on Jamal Murray’s Injury Status
Murray left the team’s last game, a loss to the Washington Wizards, during the third quarter with a sprained left ankle. He didn’t return, but it appears the day off from action has helped his overall outlook. It appears that his injury isn’t serious, as the league injury report has Murray listed as probable to play.
Along with that positive news, the Nuggets have no other players on the injury report with the exception of Michael Porter Jr., who’s been out all year. The strong likelihood that Murray suits up should mean a slight decrease in minutes for Monte Morris, who saw 26 against the Wizards. Malik Beasley also played 19 minutes, but that’s roughly around what can be typically expected.
Nuggets Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Warriors
*Notates expected starter
C: Nikola Jokic*, Mason Plumlee
PF: Paul Millsap*, Juancho Hernangomez, Jarred Vanderbilt
SF: Will Barton*, Torrey Craig, Trey Lyles
SG: Gary Harris*, Malik Beasley, Brandon Goodwin
PG: Jamal Murray (P)*, Monte Morris, Isaiah Thomas
There’s little question that the likes of Murray, Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap will be crucial in this matchup. Jokic specifically has put together a superb season, averaging 20.3 points, 10.9 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game, all of which are team-high marks. If not for the wild seasons both James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo are having, there would be an argument for Jokic in the MVP race.
Beyond that, Murray is having a career year across the board from a statistical standpoint. He’s logged a career-high 32.7 minutes per game while posting 18.2 points, 4.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game. The duo of Jokic and Murray have been pivotal to the Nuggets’ strong regular season, and they’ll look to keep it rolling into the playoffs, hopefully as the No. 1 seed in the West.