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Mavericks: How Jamal Murray’s injury impacts Dallas and the West race

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Jamal Murray Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Jamal Murray Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Jamal Murray Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

How Jamal Murray’s injury impacts the Mavericks: Playoff showdown?

Dallas won two of three meetings against the Denver Nuggets this season. Luka Doncic dominated by averaging 31.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 13.7 assists on 50.8 percent shooting from the field in the three matchups. The Nuggets were hoping the addition of Aaron Gordon gave them a chance to defend Doncic and the rest of the elite wings/forwards in the Western Conference.

Denver would be underdogs in a potential series against the Mavericks without Jamal Murray. Dallas would have to find a way to slow down Nikola Jokic, but the Nuggets have become one of the more favorable potential first-round matchups for Dallas. The Portland Trail Blazers are the only team the Mavs would prefer to play in the West’s top six, and that matchup presents the potential of the always dangerous Damian Lillard going off to eliminate any foe.

Denver’s offense will struggle without Murray. His ability to get a bucket at any moment and break down defenses in the playoffs was key to the Nuggets’ deep run in 2020.

Do not expect Denver and Mavericks to face off in the playoffs. It is more likely that both teams end up on the road in the first round. If the Lakers get healthy, they could easily snag a top-four spot in the West. That would leave Denver, Portland, and Dallas in the fight to avoid the play-in tournament.

Next: Title odds

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