HomeSportsJamal Murray leaves Thursday's game after a rolling ankle, now out of...

Jamal Murray leaves Thursday’s game after a rolling ankle, now out of the NBA’s 65-game rule

The Denver Nugget takes on the Miami Heat at Ball Arena

It was an unfortunate match. In the second quarter against Miami on Thursday, Jamal Murray drove to the rim, drew the defense and then kicked the ball back to Nikola Jokic for the easy 4-yard bucket. However, when Murray landed and turned around, he stepped on Aaron Gordon’s foot, rolled his ankle and fell to the ground in pain. He tried to get up and walk away, sat back down and soon left the game never to return.

Although coach Michael Malone’s comments didn’t make things sound too serious, it usually takes the next day for the severity of an ankle sprain to become known. The Nuggets haven’t said anything yet, but Murry is officially questionable for Saturday against the Lakers.

Murray played 14 minutes in that game, down from 15, which would officially put him out of compliance with the NBA’s new 65-game postseason mandate. Under this rule (a negotiated part of the CBA, the players signed it) a player can miss 17 games, but at the 18th he will no longer be eligible. However, a player can play in 63 and qualify if he has played at least 15 minutes in two others. Murray has missed a total of 16 games, but after leaving the game against the Heat, he has now had two more games where he missed the 15-minute mark due to injuries. This makes him unsuitable according to the letter of the law.

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Denver could appeal that if Murray plays in every remaining Nuggets game, but it feels like that doesn’t matter (whether or not he plays against the Lakers on Saturday). Maybe no player in the league makes the jump from “he’s good in the regular season” to “he’s a superstar in the playoffs” like Murray, but the argument that Murray belongs on an All-NBA team or a deserves another award based on his play this regular season is tough. Murray is averaging 20.5 points per game, shooting 42.3% from 3 and dishing out 6.3 assists this season – borderline All-Star numbers, just not All-NBA level (top 15 player in the league) .

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