Will Jamal Murray Provide More Consistency?
In Murray’s third season as a regular starter for the Nuggets, he’s seen a small improvement in his numbers, averaging 16.7, 18.2, then 18.8 points per night this season. However, as their franchise guard, the former Kentucky standout hasn’t offered the type of production the organization had hoped for.
The fourth-year guard has flashed star potential at times, draining three after three, but then on other occasions, he will go ice cold. Murray is shooting 34 percent from downtown, a tick down from last season where he posted a 37 percent clip. Not a huge difference, but at this point in his career, it’s time to make that jump in every category.
Look at Jayson Tatum for example with Boston. First-year in the league he averaged 13.9 points. Sophomore season, 15.7. This year, he’s dropping 23.6 points per game. Sure, his usage rate is slightly higher than Murray’s but he’s putting up the type of numbers that Boston would like from one of their franchise pieces.
Nothing is saying that Murray won’t get there though. He’s drastically improved on the defensive end, which is also a very important part of his game. But between him and Jokic, they tend to be the main outlets of scoring for Denver.
With Will Barton and Paul Millsap also averaging just under 15 a game, this team has a solid core. But if Murray can also average over 20 per night, it’s going to play a crucial part in the Nuggets success. He’s currently nursing a tight hamstring, but will likely be ready for the opener next weekend.
Consistency from Murray will be very important as they look to make an impact in the new-look postseason in Orlando. I have faith that the best is yet to come from the Denver guard, considering he’s still in his early 20’s.