Denver Nuggets guard Jamaal Murray missed all of last season with an ACL injury. The 25-year-old is still working to his full potential. Of course, the Kentucky product has already noticed an increase in confidence in his game.
“I just take it game by game,” Murray said before the Nuggets’ 120-100 win over the Houston Rockets. “At the beginning of the season, the first two games, I was happy to be out there. Not forcing, not getting to the rim, not being really aggressive.
At a few NBA betting sites, the Nuggets have the eighth-best odds to win the championship in 2023. Some sportsbooks show the highest odds for the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns in the West.
Nikola Jokic says he thought Jamal Murray would play 20 games after the offseason.
I asked him if he was surprised that his season-high 31 points came in the 16th game.
Joker: “He’ll be ready for a few more games.”
— Mike Singer (@msinger) November 29, 2022
“I just have to let the ball come to me, and I’ll take care of it,” Murray said. But now he’s forcing it more, going into color, panicking, all that stuff. So, everything is starting to return, and confidence is starting to return.
“When you’re so far away, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. So sticking to the weight room and following my rehab was really important, and I had to think about not getting too ahead of myself and doing all kinds of crazy things in the game.
The Nuggets’ Jamaal Murray has been “taking it game by game” this season, saying rebounding has been key.
In 17 starts this season, Murray is averaging 17.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.0 steals per game. To add to those stats, he shot 44.5% from the floor and 37.9% from beyond the arc.
The Nuggets are using Murray in 27.3% of plays — the most analyzed career total — with the sixth-year player on the court.
Wednesday is for Ws. pic.twitter.com/T39GRcNJap
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) December 1, 2022
Hands down, the 2020-21 season was the guard’s best NBA season to this point, according to several statistics. In 48 starts with the Nuggets, Murray averaged a career-high 21.2 points, 1.3 steals, 47.7% shooting from the field, and 40.8% from three-point range.
Not to mention, the Denver guard posted a career-best true shooting percentage of 59.2 percent. and posted a career-high 18.3 player efficiency rating. Can a 2016 first round draft pick average 20 points per game this season?
It is possible. Murray has scored at least 20 points in each of his last three games. The guard scored a game-high 31 points in 26 minutes in the Nuggets’ 129-113 win over the Rockets on Monday. He shot 11 of 17 (64.7%) from the floor and made four three-pointers.