Denver Nuggets: The Explosion Known As Jamal Murray
After a rough start to his NBA career, Jamal Murray (the Denver Nuggets seventh overall pick) has exploded onto the scene through his last two.
The Denver Nuggets played the hardest first 10 games of any team in the NBA, and those games saw Jamal Murray struggle mightily. He started his NBA career 0-16 from the field. Keep in mind, this rookie has not yet played over 30 minutes in an NBA game either.
After having a couple solid games on the road, this explosive rookie is now set to get another favorable matchup against the Jazz, a team he just dropped 18 points on 8 shots in less than 23 minutes on. He did absolute work in the fourth quarter of this game as 16 of his 18 were scored in the fourth quarter.
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Even after his rough start, Murray knew that the sun would quickly be shining in the Mile High.
Good feeling to see one go down. Only gets better from here ???? https://t.co/PxOiKaARPh
— Jamal Murray (@BeMore27) November 6, 2016
As the Nuggets are set to face the Jazz, let’s take a look at how Murray is comparing to other rookies and to his other Nugget teammates.
If Joel Embiid is not included, could Murray vouch for Rookie of the Year so far?
Outside of Dario Saric and Joel Embiid (who both get considerable more minutes than Murray), Murray is the third best scoring rookie at 9.0 points per game.
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While it doesn’t sound like a lot, throughout Murray’s first four he scored only two points. Murray logged a career-high last night to bolster his points per game.
Murray’s other strength has been the three ball. He averages 1.6 triples per game and most are capped off with his electrifying bow-and-arrow celebration. His 1.6 triples is the best among rookies that have played over 5 games this season.
In his last five quarters, Murray has scored 40 points. This includes a 16 point fourth against the Jazz to seal that ball game. Murray also helped highlight a 24-0 run in last nights game against the Chicago Bulls.
While he does not stack up very well in other pertinent categories, without Joel Embiid in the mix, Murray could still make a case for having the best rookie season so far.
Jamal Murray’s Place in Denver
This NBA Draft, Denver knew that they had to solve their three point shooting woes. They have finally done this.
After Danilo Gallinari’s 1.8, Jamal Murray’s 1.6 threes per game is the most for the Denver Nuggets. His 42.3% from behind the arc is much better than Danilo Gallinari’s 35.7%.
The Nelson-Murray-Gallinari-Chandler-Jokic lineup has also been one of the most effective for the Nuggets this season. The only two lineups to appear in seven games have both included Jamal Murray. Murray is starting to cement his place among Denver’s best players, and it is just in time.
He has proven his potential, and he has played 20+ minutes in four of the last five games. So the next question is: “What happens when Harris and Barton come back?”
The Nuggets are one of the deepest teams in the NBA, and Murray’s explosion may have secured him some minutes even when the team is fully healthy.