In case you have a look at how the ultimate 4 groups within the 2020 playoff bubble fared within the subsequent 2020-21 season, the deep run and fast turnaround got here with sizeable repercussions.

Between these 4 — the Celtics, Warmth, Lakers and Nuggets — solely Denver reached the second spherical following the shortest offseason in NBA historical past, and it was swept by the Suns.

The Warmth and Lakers had round seven weeks from the conclusion of the 2020 NBA Finals till the beginning of coaching camp for the 2020-21 season; the Nuggets and Celtics had about two further.

And the third-seeded Nuggets’ second-round exit was at the least, partly, on account of Jamal Murray’s ACL tear one month earlier than the season ended.

Murray missed all of final season, the place the Nuggets went 48-34, completed sixth within the West and misplaced to the eventual champion Warriors in 5 video games through the first spherical.

Murray, 26, has regarded like his previous self recently, serving to spearhead the Nuggets to inside one sport of the 2023 NBA Finals, however after his 2021 damage, he was apprehensive about his future with the workforce.

Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) celebrates subsequent to the Lakers’ Anthony Davis (3) throughout Denver’s Sport 3 win over the Lakers on Could 20, 2023.

Jamal Murray had 37 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the Denver Nuggets' Game 3 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Jamal Murray (27) had 37 factors, seven rebounds and 6 assists within the Denver Nuggets’ Sport 3 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
NBAE by way of Getty Photos

“I bear in mind being on the bus with [Murray after the injury],” Nuggets head coach Michael Malone after Murray scored 37 factors Saturday in a Sport 3 win over the Lakers to take a 3-0 lead within the Western Convention finals. “He had tears in his eyes, and that was the message. ‘Hey man, you’re gonna come again from this and never solely are you gonna come again, you’re gonna be higher.’

“His first by means of was thought was, ‘Man, are you gonna commerce me? I’m broken items, are you guys gonna commerce me now?’ I hugged him and I mentioned, ‘Hell no! You’re ours. We love you, we’re gonna assist you get again, and also you’re gonna be a greater participant for it.’”

Murray has grow to be a real playoff riser like few others within the NBA.

The 2016 No. 7 general decide averaged 20.0 factors, 6.2 assists and 4.0 rebounds on 45.4 % taking pictures through the common season, the place the Nuggets completed a Western Convention-best 53-29.

Within the playoffs, Murray’s averages sit at 27.9 factors, 6.2 assists and 5.6 rebounds per contest whereas taking pictures 47.5 %.

“Playoff Murray” was actually born within the Bubble.

Jamal Murray tore his ACL in a game against the Golden State Warriors on April 12, 2021, and returned to action at the start of the 2022-23 season 18 months later.
Jamal Murray tore his ACL in a sport towards the Golden State Warriors on April 12, 2021, and returned to motion at first of the 2022-23 season 18 months later.
Getty Photos

Murray averaged 18.5 factors, 4.8 assists, and 4.0 rebounds on 45.7 % taking pictures within the common season earlier than going off for 26.5 factors, 6.6 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per sport within the playoffs on 50.5 % taking pictures.

Within the present sequence towards the Lakers, Murray has averaged 35.0 factors, 7.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists per sport.

Murray has had back-to-back 37-point video games, and had a 40-point outburst earlier within the postseason towards the Timberwolves.

The Nuggets positive are glad they didn’t hand over on Murray.