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Nuggets’ Jamal Murray tears ACL

Nuggets guard Jamal Murray suffers torn ACL vs. Warriors

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 12: Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets is helped off the court after an injury in their game against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on April 12, 2021 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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Nuggets guard Jamal Murray’s knee injury was as severe as feared.

Nuggets release:

Nuggets guard Jamal Murray has been diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament of the left knee. He will be out indefinitely.

This all but certainly ends Murray’s season.

What devastating news.

Denver looked like a championship contender, especially after trading for Aaron Gordon. Nikola Jokic is playing like an MVP, and Murray led a strong supporting cast.

Murray hadn’t quite matched his breakout 2020 postseason this season. But he was banged up throughout the year and still showed special flashes. It seemed a reemergence into stardom could be around the corner.

Now, he’s sidelined – probably into next season. The Nuggets have been ascending for years, but this derails them in a way that could swing offseason plans.

For now, Denver has decent guard depth. Starter Will Barton can assume a larger role. Backups Monte Morris, Facundo Campazzo and P.J. Dozier could get more minutes. But those players can’t be trusted in the playoffs the same way Murray would have been.

The Nuggets can also sign a free agent like Austin Rivers, Troy Daniels or Gerald Green. That becomes even more urgent.

But nobody will replace Murray.

This just stinks.