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Nuggets’ Murray, Porter could return this season,"it’s up to them”

Washington Wizards v Denver Nuggets

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 13: Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets works out before the game against the Washington Wizards at Ball Arena on December 13, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. 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 C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images)

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The top of the West is crowded. The Phoenix Suns are the best team in the NBA right now, and a fully-healthy Golden State Warriors should have a higher ceiling than the Suns. Then there is a dangerous and desperate Utah Jazz, and the fearless swagger of the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Denver Nuggets could be the best of them all, if healthy. This is a team carried to a 30-25 record by the reigning MVP Nikola Jokic, doing it without their second-best player Jamal Murray (ACL) and with little from their third-best player, Michael Porter Jr. (back surgery).

Murray and Porter are expected to be medically cleared before the end of the season, reports Michael Singer of The Denver Post.

Nuggets president Tim Connelly said whether they return to the court is up to them.

There is a difference between being physically ready to play after an injury and being mentally ready to trust that body part and play freely. The second part takes time, even if physically the player holds up. The earlier they can come back, the more time they can get on the court before the playoffs, the better.

What percentage of Murray and Porter will the Nuggets get this postseason? If those numbers get close to 90% or more, Dever becomes a team to fear. They have the shooting and the depth, they just need the rest of their stars healthy and playing like themselves to be in the mix.