The Denver Nuggets have been quite good in the playoffs in this new era led by Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. However, the last two seasons have been quite disappointing for them considering that Murray has missed over a year since his ACL injury during the 2020-21 season, while Michael Porter Jr., who is arguably the team's third-best player, has missed most of this season with a back injury.
In the meanwhile, Nikola Jokic has been playing at an MVP level and has ensured a playoff berth for Denver last season while he looks set to repeat the feat this season. They've tried to consistently add players to the team, with DeMarcus Cousins being added to the team recently. But the team could be in for a much more substantial boost, with The Athletic recently reporting that both Murray and Porter Jr. could be back in time for the playoffs.
"And after all this time without them — Murray tore his left ACL last April, and Porter Jr. underwent his third back surgery in late November — sources say there is a strong sense within Denver’s locker room that they’ll both be back in time for the playoffs. If not sooner.
"A source with knowledge of Porter Jr.’s status said the 23-year-old is on track to return in mid-to-late March. Murray’s timeline, meanwhile, is harder to handicap. Though his teammates have been given the impression he’s also likely to return in time for the playoffs, the combination of the severity of his injury and the sensitivity with which the Nuggets have handled his recovery means the team will handle the final stages of his process with the utmost care. Especially considering the workload Murray was prone to carrying for all those years before his injury."
Murray is undisputedly the Nuggets' second star and was averaging nearly 22 points per game before he went down last season. His epic battle with Donovan Mitchell in the 2020 playoffs was one of the most elite performances by a guard in the playoffs in recent history. The addition of these two players could make the Nuggets a real contender in the West and this situation is one that other teams will be watching with quite some interest and a little bit of concern.