The Dallas Mavericks have been climbing the standings, but have not secured a playoff spot. Luka Doncic let fans know his thoughts on the play-in tournament after Monday’s game. The Mavs want to climb to sixth to guarantee themselves a first-round series, but they are two games back at the start of play on April 13.
The Western Conference race suffered a massive shakeup late Monday night when Jamal Murray went down with a non-contact knee injury. Shams Charania broke the news that Murray suffered a season-ending ACL tear. The Nuggets are currently fourth in the West, but losing their star point guard will be a massive blow. Denver will be relying on Facundo Campazzo and Monte Morris to handle Murray’s minutes, but how will that impact their chances in the postseason.
The Nuggets made the Western Conference Finals inside the bubble as Murray broke out. He had four 40-point games in the postseason and nearly single-handedly lifted Denver over the Utah Jazz in the opening round. Murray’s injury is a massive loss for the Nuggets and their playoff chances.
How does Jamal Murray’s injury impact the Mavericks and the race in the West?
Assuming the Lakers get healthy, they will be the favorites entering the playoffs. The Jazz, Clippers, and Nuggets were expected to be legitimate challengers for the Western Conference crown. Denver still has Nikola Jokic, Michael Porter Jr., and Aaron Gordon, but Murray’s injury drops them out of the title contention tier. The Nuggets join Phoenix, Dallas, and Portland as the teams hoping to pull some upsets and make a deep playoff run.
Here is a closer look at how Jamal Murray’s injury impacts the Dallas Mavericks.