Denver Nuggets: Will losing Michael Porter Jr. be a death blow for the season?

Denver Nuggets Michael Porter Jr. (Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports)
Denver Nuggets Michael Porter Jr. (Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports) /

Can the Denver Nuggets overcome the loss of Michael Porter Jr.? 

Heading into this season, without a healthy Jamal Murray, if the Denver Nuggets were going to keep pace atop the Western Conference they were going to need Michael Porter Jr. to emerge as a consistent No. 2 option next to Nikola Jokic.

However, instead of that happening, MPJ struggled from the opening tip of the season and never looked like his normal self. Turns out, he was battling a back injury which now could end up costing him the remainder of the season.

If this report is in any way accurate, and there’s no reason to think that it wouldn’t be, you can’t help but wonder if this is something that the Nuggets will be able to overcome in the difficult West.

As it currently stands, the Nuggets are 6th in the West at 9-8 and have lost four games in row. Without MPJ’s fire-power, which Denver has had to deal with pretty much all season long, the Nuggets have clearly struggled.

Jokic is still one of the best players in the league, but without a legit No. 2 option – with Murray and MPJ out – the Nuggets are more miss than hit recently. Murray is still a ways away from a return and at this point, there’s no real timeline for MPJ’s return from injury.

The Nuggets have the 21st ranked offense in the league and have really struggled on that end of the floor. If it wasn’t for their consistent defense, who knows where the team would be at this point in the season with their current injuries that they’re battling.

So, can the Nuggets overcome the loss of MPJ for the rest of the season? Especially with Murray out for at least the foreseeable future? That’s a difficult question to answer.

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At least for the time being, the Nuggets are not playing like a championship contender in the Western Conference. It’s hard to see how the loss of MPJ will actually help on that front. It’s just a shame all around.