Media day is now in the books for the 2022-23 Denver Nuggets team. It was a day that many fans were looking forward to because it’s the start of the season. The fans and media get to see and talk to guys that haven’t been in the public eye for months, they get to ask burning questions that have been brewing in their heads for a long time.
There were some interesting takeaways to be had for this media day too. We heard from every player, and also Michael Malone and Calvin Booth. Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. had notable quotes, Bones Hyland was fun, and the vibes were set for the season.
Jamal Murray is Back
Jamal Murray was mentioned a plethora of times today — all of which were positive signs of him being able to get back to where both he and the team want him to be at. Michael Malone said that he looks great in workouts and open runs, but that the team is going to be smart with his playing time. He said that Jamal will probably rest some games. That is going to be an expectation that Nuggets fans will have to have for this season too.
Jamal Murray is a phenomenal player, but is coming off of 18 straight months of not playing in NBA games due to a major injury. Fans will have to exercise patience with him. However, he has made a lot of strides since the end of last season. Jamal Murray said it’s night and day with where he is now. He isn’t thinking as much about which leg to jump off of anymore. Jamal Murray is back, and will be good this season. The vibes with him were great.
Michael Porter Jr. Had Some Interesting Quotes
Michael Porter Jr. was also mentioned by Michael Malone as someone that the Nuggets will be smart with this season. However, he didn’t completely agree with the approach. When asked about his thoughts on resting games, MPJ said that, “I would prefer to play 82. I don’t think the careful route with players is the way to go, but you definitely want to be smart. That time comes from the recovery you do off the court. I don’t think skipping games is the way that you should save your body. You gotta respect the game. You should play when you can play and help the team win as many games as possible.”
He also talked a lot about the mental side of things being a focus for him during his rehab. He mentioned that he attacked the process from a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual place. It was interesting to hear that after in the exit interviews last year, he was talking about biomechanics and things of the sort. It does seem like he is back completely though. According to Calvin Booth, he is cleared for everything on the court and won’t have limitations in a physical activity sense.
Nikola Jokic wants to be the Tim Duncan of the Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic was pretty straight forward at media day. He was happy to be here with the team, and he had a busy summer with both EuroBasket and his family, among other things. On his extension, Nikola said that he was happy to sign it — it wasn’t a hard decision for him. He wants to be in Denver long term, and that shouldn’t be a surprise for most people.
In terms of what he wants to achieve in Denver — the two-time MVP wants to do all he can. He said that he wants to be the Tim Duncan of the Denver Nuggets, and that he’d have to win a couple championships to get there. It’s pretty safe to say that he has championship aspirations. The league should get ready to face him and the Nuggets at full strength.
Defense is Much Improved
The Denver Nuggets made sure to improve the defensive personnel on the roster this season. Michael Malone and Calvin Booth said that this was a collaborative effort from both of them. Between Bruce Brown, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Christian Braun being added to the roster among others — the defense has been much improved. They had a goal and they accomplished what they set out to do.
Michael Malone had a goal for the Nuggets this season too — be top five in defensive rating this season. He said that with who they have on the roster now, that’s where the team wants to be. Jamal Murray pitched in later in the day that everyone aims for that, and that the Nuggets will have to lock in for that to happen.
The Nuggets have become a far more well rounded team this offseason, and expectations were set high for this upcoming season. The vibes of media day were good. The players, coaches, and team personnel all seemed stoked to be back. Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. just want to get out there and play. All in all, the Nuggets are back. It’s time to dig in.