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Campazzo suspended for Game 1 after shoving incident

Denver Nuggets guard Facundo Campazzo warms up prior to an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday, March 28, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)
Murray’s return still hazy; Jokic among MVP favorites

DENVER – The NBA has suspended Denver Nuggets guard Facundo Campazzo for Game 1 of a first-round playoff series against Golden State for a shoving incident in the regular season finale.

Campazzo forcefully pushed down Los Angeles Lakers guard Wayne Ellington in the second quarter Sunday. Campazzo was assessed a flagrant foul 2 and ejected from the game.

The NBA also announced Wednesday that Ellington received a $20,000 fine for what the league said was escalating the incident by posting a threatening comment on social media after the game.

Campazzo will sit out when the Nuggets begin their series Saturday at Chase Center against the Warriors.

Stephen Curry's status for the opener is also unclear as he rehabs a sprained ligament in his left foot.

The Warriors said Tuesday that “his eventual return to game action – and the possibility of playing this weekend – is undetermined and will be based on his continued progress.”

Curry was injured March 16 at home against Boston and Golden State went 6-6 without him, finding some rhythm to win the final five regular-season games.

Murray's return still hazy a year since he blew out a knee

Tuesday marked the anniversary of Jamal Murray tearing his left ACL and the Denver Nuggets say it's still up to their star point guard whether he's ready to return for the playoffs or wait until next season.

For several weeks Murray has been putting on a show at practice and in pregame warmups, but he's still not confident in his surgically repaired knee he injured last April 12.

“Obviously, he's not there yet,” coach Michael Malone said before tip-off of the team's regular season finale against the Lakers on Sunday night. “That's a real big mental hurdle to make ... he has good days and he has days that are not as good. And that's been very challenging for him mentally."

Malone said the organization will continue to leave it up to Murray to decide when he's ready to return to the lineup.

Despite dunking a few times at practice Saturday, when he was in a jovial mood, and sat down with Malone for an extended chat, Murray was ruled out of Sunday night's game.

Recently, reigning MVP Nikola Jokic said he admonished Murray not to return to action if he's not 100% both mentally and physically because it wouldn't make sense to rush back and risk getting hurt again.

Jokic among MVP favorites again

The votes are in. Over the coming days and weeks, the NBA will announce the various award-winners for this regular season. And while nobody knows with absolute certainty where any of the trophies are going yet, this much is known: The MVP is going to be an international player.

Again.

Prepare for history, because it’s coming. The consensus seems to be that this season’s MVP will be either Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid or Giannis Antetokounmpo. Jokic is from Serbia. Embiid from Cameroon. Antetokounmpo from Greece, with ties to Nigeria. When the winner is revealed, it’ll be the fourth consecutive season in which the MVP won’t have been born in the U.S. – something that has never happened.

Jokic is the reigning MVP and made a brilliant case this season. Averages of 27 points, 14 rebounds and just under eight assists per game are crazy numbers. Nobody has ever finished a season with those averages, which only further strengthens the arguments for Jokic to go back-to-back.