Lakers About to Get a Big Break For Pivotal Game 5 vs Nuggets

The Los Angeles Lakers receive news that gives them a huge advantage over the Denver Nuggets in Game 5.
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are about to face the Denver Nuggets in the pivotal Game 5 of their first-round series. Down 3-1, LeBron James & Co. have a mountain to climb against the reigning champions on the road. However, they may have gotten a big break that could give them a chance to make this a series.

According to the latest reporting, the Denver Nuggets have listed their star guard Jamal Murray as questionable for Game 5. Murray suffered a calf strain in the last game but was able to play through it. However, only one day's rest between the games and the travel might have made it tricky for him to get back to 100%.

NBA News: Jamal Murray Questionable to Play in Game 5 vs Lakers

This is obviously a major blow for the Nuggets. Injuries are always awful and you hate to see a great player go down in the playoffs. Absences deciding playoff series is not ideal but it's unfortunately part of the game.

And fortunately for the Lakers, they are the benefitting side from this injury.

Murray hasn't been as impactful in this series as he has been in last season's playoffs. Other than the Game 2 heroics, he has been largely ineffective. But, he is still the second-best player on the Nuggets and is the only reliable shot creator on Denver outside of Nikola Jokic.

Moreover, they don't have a good replacement for Murray. Denver lacks depth and will have to rely on Reggie Jackson to absorb Murray's minutes. He is nowhere near the creator, shot-maker, or passer that Murray is. Losing his main pick-and-roll partner will also likely reduce Jokic's efficiency as well.

It is needless to say that the Nuggets are more than capable of winning at home without Jamal Murray. Jokic is very experienced in leading skeleton crews to victory because of Murray's injury struggles over the last few seasons.

But if the Lakers are going to have a chance in this series, this is as good of news as they could have hoped for. Win Game 5 against Murray-less Nuggets, bring the series back to Los Angeles for Game 6, and anything can happen at that point.

Even with their dynamic scorer questionable, the Nuggets are -292 favorites against the Lakers on FanDuel Sportsbook. Head over there now if you want to get in on the action.

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