Recent news might help the Golden State Warriors in their first round matchup as the Denver Nuggets appear they will be missing two of their heaviest hitters for the postseason.
The Golden State Warriors might make it out of round one without having to face Jamal Murray or Michael Porter Jr. of the Denver Nuggets.
There had been some rumblings recently that both Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. could be returning to Denver soon. In a turn of events, both Murray and MPJ are now unlikely to return for the postseason according to Shams Charania.
While you absolutely never wish injury on anyone, the absence of Murray and Porter is good news for Golden State — who could potentially enter Game 1 without Stephen Curry.
Murray is the backcourt counterpart to MVP Nikola Jokic. Without Murray creating plays and applying consistent scoring pressure from the perimter — the Nuggets lack enough bite to truly make a dent in the Warriors’ firepower.
Murray averaged 26.5 points and 6.6 assists in his last playoff stint.
The same goes for Porter, who provides a unique talent as an elite 3-point shooter and rebounder. Losing this scoring from the wing puts even more pressure on Jokic and the others to rise to the challenge.
Last season, Porter averaged a career-high 19.0 points and 7.3 rebounds on 44.5% 3-point shooting.
Without them, the Warriors have a much easier task. Jokic is obviously no joke but the Dubs’ have enough defensive talent to slow him down. Even without Curry, Golden State is loaded enough on offense to outshoot the Nuggets and keep them from winning the series.
Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole have hit their stride as of late and look strong enough to propel the Warriors to a first round victory. From there, the path to a championship gets much more difficult.