When the Denver Nuggets released their game notes for tomorrow’s playoff game against the Utah Jazz, the hope was to receive some good news on the injury front. That was not the case as Will Barton III (right knee soreness), Gary Harris (right hip muscle strain), and Vlatko Cancar (left for fracture) have already been ruled out for Game One against the Jazz.
Gary Harris (hip) and Will Barton (knee) have already been ruled out for game one tomorrow according to the #Nuggets game notes.— Brandon Ewing (@B_Skip1717) August 16, 2020
Barton and Harris missed all of the Nuggets eight seeding games and there is no telling when they will be healthy enough to return to play. In the bubble, we have only seen Barton play in one half, which came in the Nuggets final scrimmage against the Orlando Magic on July 27th. Barton scored three points in just 18 minutes of action.
The hope always seemed to be that Barton and Harris were just resting until the playoffs began, but that is obviously not the case. Not only will the Nuggets be without two starters for their first playoff game, but that could be the situation for the entire first round and beyond.
Another concern has to be whenever Barton and Harris are healthy to play again it will be their first real basketball game in over five months. You never want your first game back to be a high intensity playoff game, but that is what Barton and Harris will be thrust into if they are healthy enough to play throughout any point of the postseason.