The Denver Nuggets ripped off four straight wins heading into their stumble in Atlanta against Dejounte Murray and the Hawks, but another Murray is a waking volcano ready to gush hot magma and cast an ashy blue glow over the Mile High City.
Denver’s upstart Canadian 6′ 4″ combo guard, now 25, is becoming the Jamal Murray Nuggets fans have always hoped and dreamed of ever since he was drafted seventh overall in 2016.
Averaging 20 points a game in the month of November and matching that scoring total on the dot against Atlanta, the Blue Arrow is just now hitting his stride as he bounces back from a long layoff and ACL surgery. Picking up the slack as scorching hot scoring threat Michael Porter Jr. recovers from an unfortunate heel injury.
MPJ will miss his sixth straight game when the Nuggets tangle with the New Orleans Pelicans and there is no timetable for his return at the moment. Porter’s heel trouble has fast-tracked Jamal’s crucial return, and constant scoring production will be required of the former Kentucky standout as Denver tries to keep pace with the best in the West.
Number 27 is patient in trusting his body once more, and his teammates are trusting in him to get the job done. Nikola Jokic has always had a knack for finding Jamal Murray in the half-court or in transition, and Murray is showing balance with the ability to knife toward the hoop at a high success rate.
Murray spaces the floor well and his rebounding is icing on the cake. Jokic continues to push the Blue Arrow physically and mentally, and the two continue to show blossoming chemistry on jaw-dropping plays that seemingly only that specific pair can make.
When Murray takes his time, his game gets smoother, and everything seems to slow down as he starts to cook. Defenses are often put to sleep with his lullaby nature and humble dribbling skill, only to be slapped awake with his quick twitch and decisive passing.
While Jokic eats in the paint and guys like Kentavious-Caldwell Pope and Bruce Brown start draining buckets from downtown. Murray continues to progress with Denver’s other playmakers, as he has now dished out at least five helpers in five of the last six contests.
The Kentucky product couldn’t have picked a better time to start booming again, as memories of his performance in the bubble begin dancing in Denver fans’ heads.
Jamal Murray is finding his game alongside the back-to-back MVP and Denver’s lethal role players, not to mention the occasional zing Bones Hyland has been providing off the bench, which has been great for Murray’s minute management as well. The ideas start flowing for Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone as he dreams up scenarios to get his starting point guard more and more involved in the offense.
Murray’s ceiling is still unknown, and that’s what makes months like the one he just put together so enjoyable. Jamal Murray has the ability to take the Nuggets to the top if he can capture that “bubble energy” in a bottle and unleash it on a nightly basis.
Nevertheless, the fact that he has progressed so quickly from his dangerous knee injury has All-Star sparkle sprinkled all over the Mile High City right now. Jamal Murray is ready to erupt, and Denver Nuggets fans should be prepared for that.