Is Nuggets star Jamal Murray playing vs. Timberwolves? Latest Game 6 injury update

Tony Nguyen | Denver Nuggets
May 17, 2024

The Denver Nuggets have come alive in their second-round matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2024 NBA playoffs. From 2-0 down, they have stormed back and taken a 3-2 lead, and they now need to win just one more game to book a return trip to the Western Conference Finals. However, it seems like the physicality of the playoffs is taking its toll on some of their players. In particular, Jamal Murray appears to be banged up.

Thus, it might be fair to wonder whether or not Jamal Murray is playing tonight in a closeout game against the Timberwolves.

*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*

Jamal Murray’s injury status for Game 6 vs. Timberwolves

The Timberwolves have played very physical defense on Jamal Murray, limiting his effectiveness at times by utilizing their length to smother him. And in the process, they are wearing down the Nuggets star. Currently, Murray is dealing with a calf strain, which is enough for the Nuggets to designate him on the latest injury report and deem him “questionable” to play for their closeout game against the Timberwolves.

Barring an unforeseen twist in the tale, there is no way that Murray will be out of action in Game 6. But the NBA can be a bit detail-oriented when it comes to team’s injury reporting. Thus, they are listing Murray as questionable, although he’s most likely closer to probable as the Nuggets will be needing his services to finally dispatch of a Timberwolves team that has made life difficult for the reigning champion.

Murray sustained this injury in Game 4 of the Nuggets’ first-round matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers. It seems like this has hampered his effectiveness at times, at least relative to his usual level in the playoffs. In Game 5 of the Lakers series, Murray didn’t seem like he was suffering from any ill effects from the calf injury. He tallied 32 points in that closeout game and he made the biggest shot of the night when he made a difficult leaning midranger over a tough contest from Austin Reaves.

But to begin the series against the Timberwolves, Murray did not look like his usual self. He hit his low point in Game 2, when he shot 3-18 from the field and then threw a heat pack onto the court, warranting a fine from the league office. But since then, the Nuggets star guard has come alive. Working from more of an off-ball role, Murray’s efficiency has improved, and his threat from the perimeter is opening up a ton of space for Nikola Jokic to dominate the paint against the best defense in the NBA.

It would take more than a calf sprain for the Nuggets to hold out Murray for Game 6. Game 7 might be at home, but anything can happen in a win or go home kind of game, so Denver will not want to tempt fate. Expect Murray to suit up, especially when the Nuggets’ depth at point guard isn’t exactly the best.

For now, however, the answer to the question of whether or not Jamal Murray will be playing later tonight against the Timberwolves is “maybe”.

The Nuggets star’s history of leg injuries

If there’s any body part that may be fragile for Jamal Murray, it’s his lower body. No Nuggets fan would ever forget when he tore his ACL back in April 2021, forcing him to miss the entire 2021-22 season. Murray then rested plenty of back-to-backs during his return season in 2023, as the Nuggets handled him with care as he worked his way towards returning to his best self on the court. The Nuggets’ strategy worked; Murray was fresh during the playoffs and proved that he’s encyclopedic definition of a “playoff riser”.

But this past season was an even more trying one on the injury front for Murray. He missed more games during the 2023-24 season than he did the season prior, as he dealt with a litany of leg injuries. Back in November, he sustained a right hamstring injury that kept him out for 11 consecutive games. And then in March, he missed seven straight contests as he dealt with ankle and knee injuries.

Murray did not cross the 30-minute mark during the Nuggets’ final five games of the regular season, with Denver being careful with their star guard yet again with the playoffs approaching. To summarize, in one season, Murray has dealt with a hamstring, ankle, and knee injuries, and now, it’s his calf that’s acting up. If this was a leg-injury bingo, then he would have already won.

Nonetheless, it’s playoff time; Murray is a warrior, so it’ll take a whole lot more than a calf strain to keep him out of action.