DENVER — Late-season images caused confusionTake the floor prior to games and use your surgically-repaired knee to dunk. Nearby, . After spinal surgery, he jumped with ease in his long-range jumper.
They painted a picture about the talentedThe tandem is on the verge of returning to action. The truth is that they were far from MVP. On the floor.
Physically, no. Mentally. Golden State eliminated the Nuggets in five games, so they were not able to compete on the playoff stage.
They now have an entire summer to heal — Murray from his torn ACL last April, Porter from another back operation — and get this team back on track.
Porter stated Friday that “we can be the best NBA team” if “everybody is healthy.”
Murray and Porter were forced to sit on the sidelines for much of the stretch and the entire postseason.
Murray stated that he was around 85 percent back to peak form. He could shoot, drive and dunk. It was other basketball situations like guarding that bothered him.Rebounding, running through screens, or diving for loose balls.
Porter admitted that he could have played, saying “On one leg, stand in corner and shoot threes.” “Would that have allowed me to perform at my best? It's not possible. It's a matter of thinking long-term rather than short-term.
The Nuggets got it. The Nuggets floated the idea that they could return down the stretch or in playoffs to give them the option at any time.
Tim Connelly, president of basketball operations at Nuggets, explained that an injury requires the player to speak loudest.
Murray listened to how his knee felt even though it was clear that he could return. Murray heard the rage from his fans about sitting out. They were puzzled as to why he didn't take the podium. He even used social media to defend his actions.
“They hear the words ‘clear', and they are like, ‘Why aren’t you playing?’” Murray won a lot of attention when the Nuggets advanced inside the Orlando bubble to the 2020 Western Conference Finals. “I have some great days. There's no soreness. I feel like I can go. You then have the next day, when it's like you are not yet there.
“Those great days, I'm riding high on my high horse and really looking forward for the future. Then there are those slow days when it becomes difficult to see the future. It is difficult to plan and tell myself how great I am. Uncertainty is hard when you don't know how your body will react.
Porter went through the same thing. He had surgery at Missouri and was back in 2018 NCAA Tournament season at “40 or half of me.”
Porter stated, “I don't think it was the smartest decision looking back.” Porter said, “So I try and learn from that experience, as well as play the long-term”
Porter participated in nine games during the season. Porter had a setback March, when he tried to speed up his rehab. He decided to return to the drawing board. He restructured his biomechanics, and how he moves on court to fix his back issues.
Porter stated, “I am trying to be very cautious and very conscious of how I treat the rehab process because for me, it is all about being healthy.” “I believe I can take it from there and string together a long period of being healthy together.”
Murray was Porter's confidant during his healing process.
As they went through rehab, they became closer and they hope that this bond will carry over to the court next year.
Porter and Murray got to sit out so they could see what their needs were when they return.
Murray stated that when you are in the game, you're focused on what you can accomplish. When you watch the whole season and notice that they are playing a different style, you can see areas where you can add your voice and make it more enjoyable for everyone.
Murray is an expert on the best acquisitions that will take the Nuggets to the next level.
Murray cracked, “Another health button.” “A big red button.”