Northwest Notes: Murray, MPJ, Wolves, Thunder

Nuggets guard Jamal Murray has demonstrated his leadership abilities during the team’s playoff run this year, Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times writes.

Denver is currently trailing 0-1 against the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals and has bounced back from a 3-1 series deficit twice this postseason, something no other NBA franchise has ever done.

“Jamal has grown up, he has become more of a leader, more vocal,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “What he did in that Utah series was incredible with his play but also the emotional leadership that he showed for our team and that was contagious.

“He took his whole team with him, which you don’t see very often for such a young player.”

Murray has stepped up on both ends of the floor, averaging 26.7 points, 6.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game in 15 playoff contests. He was a key cog in the team’s victories over the Jazz and Clippers in previous rounds, proving his worth at just 23 years old.

“This is something that you have to understand, take responsibility for,” Malone said. “You’ve got to be better. On the court, your preparation, your professionalism, your work ethic and your leadership. He’s taken all those things into account and tried to be better in every one of those areas, which is all you want.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Mike Singer of the Denver Post explores how Michael Porter Jr. has earned the respects of his coach, with the 22-year-old providing quality depth off the bench during the Nuggets’ postseason run. “In those games, the games that you talk about when he’s on the floor when so much is hanging in the balance, that’s invaluable for a young player,” Malone said as part of a larger quote. “I think what’s earned him those minutes is that he’s really bought in, grown and committed to the defensive end of the floor.”
  • The Timberwolves are hiring 247 Sports analyst Josh Gershon in a draft preparation and player personnel consultant role, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Minnesota owns the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft, set to commence on November 18.
  • Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman proposes three trade scenarios for the Thunder involving star point guard Chris Paul, who led the franchise to a 44-28 record this season and received All-NBA Second Team honors. Multiple teams are said to have interest in Paul, 35, though his contract ($41.35MM next season and $44.21MM player option in 2021-22) would make any potential deal challenging. It’s also unclear how motivated Oklahoma City is to move him.
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31 thoughts on “Northwest Notes: Murray, MPJ, Wolves, Thunder

  1. x%sure

    The Oklahoman writer mentioned MIL, NYK & PHL, and getting a first for Paul, and the salary. Paul was quoted as saying what sounded like a goodbye.

    • hiflew

      I think you need to read that story again. Each of those scenarios has a first round pick going TO the Thunder along with several players in exchange for Paul. All 3 proposals actually make quite a bit of sense for each team. For OKC, I think the Philly deal makes the least amount of sense. If it were up to me, I would take the Knicks deal simply because Knox might figure things out if he teams with SGA again.

      • x%sure

        That’s what I said. “A first for Paul, and the salary”, NOT a first WITH Paul. That’s like three times with me you missed my point. Note that Utah is not included. OKC nation would not consider Conley a decent return, even if Utah would prefer Conley anyway for financial, personality, other reasons. I don’t like putting Paul down, I was enthusiastic about him for OKC even though he blocked SGA from the PG.

        I could have added, *and a good young player*. But that can vary, and the Oklahoma writer is likely biased… there probably won’t be one involved, or if there’s any, there will be two, so that Presti can claim he wasn’t just dumping salary. The big deal in these major-player dumps, at least among GMs, seems to be the first(s) and which way they go.

        Among the young players mentioned, Shake Milton makes the least sense, since OKC already has two other PGs. But there are others, and Milton could play off-ball and maybe should.
        At Kentucky, SGA kind of took over the team from Knox late in the year… not sure if Knox would prefer him again.

  2. x%sure

    So why does Boston-Denver get a day off Monday, when Denver-LA goes every other day? This helps Boston with Hayward recovering, and a younger Denver team getting no break.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Probably because the ECF started sooner and they don’t want one series to end long before the other leaving one of the teams in the Finals with a long layoff. So game 3 of the WCF is on Tuesday and game 4 of the ECF is on Wednesday (rather than game 5).

      And there’s probably some way they’re helping the Lakers since they already gave them the help they needed in the 2nd round with that ridiculous excuse to get rid of Danuel House and naturally giving LA every single advantage they can since they make more revenue for the NBA than anyone.

      • imindless

        Thinking house made that much of difference is hillarious. Got clapped with him in game 2 it was going down in 5 regardless. Your salt is showing.

      • Sign all the Cubans
        Sign all the Cubans

        Wasn’t gonna matter if House played in every game or not. The Rockettes didn’t lose because of a suspended role-player, they lost because midget-hero ball was never going to work against the Lakers.

        Hell, they barely got past an offensively challenged OKC team, which should have been a warning that it wasn’t going to go well against the Lakers.

      • C-Daddy

        Acting like Danuel House would have made any sort of impact against the Lakers is some next level delusion.

      • x%sure

        HWMvps the opposite is true. The league is hurting LA, not helping them, by NOT giving their older players an extra TWO days off like they gave Boston. The Celts have been off three days not one like has been the norm in the restart… Sept. 20,21,22 while the Lakers played twice in a row. Miami players do not need time off. Boston also gets a chance to practice against Miami’s novel zone and other strategems. Boston has not been as innovative contrary to expectations… Grant Williams is just a version of Theis, a switching center.

        Getting Today off is a huge aid to Boston and there’s no reason for it that I know except favoritism.
        As far as equalization argument goes, Boston was given another three days off Sept.12,13,14 for no reason and that’s why they and the EC are behind. There is no reason for the WC half to be ahead, when their first-round serieses went so much longer.

        No comparison to the House situation since the woman was not from the bubble. And the officiating was fine; the Lakers are better.

      • x%sure

        There is also SNF and TNF besides MNF, and that had no effect on scheduling. If that’s the reason, it’s a cover-up. Besides, the schedule could have simply moved back a day, in both cases, giving the EC team only two days off, instead of the EC game being skipped, and the EC getting three days off. The EC should be ahead, not behind, because of the first round blowouts.

        • The Human Rain Delay

          They still are ahead even with the re- scheduling …my goodness

        • Otogar

          Yes, but this Monday it would be ESPN broadcasting both the NBA and the NFL. Yesterday, for instance, it was ESPN’s NBA against NBC’s NFL.

          • Otogar

            So, to be precise, it’s not that they don’t want to compete with the NFL, but that they don’t want to have to air one of the events (likely the NBA game) too early.

    • The Human Rain Delay

      You guys are some conspiracy theorists !! Whew, go outside for a little bit!!

      Sorry to burst the bubble but they changed the dates simply to not coincide with Monday Night football for better ratings….

      Daniel House was the X factor huh lol, that is some funny s**t my man…Ever thought about stand up comedy?

  3. harden-westbrook-mvps

    It’s unclear how much OKC would entertain getting rid of Chris Paul and his monstrous contract? I guarantee they will entertain any deal possible to rid themselves of him even if they have to attach a first round pick or two.

      • El Don

        Don’t forget his total lack of any knowledge of self-awareness!
        The reason for the delay of the MIA v BOS game is due to Monday Night Football, as has been reported before!

          • mlbnyyfan

            Beating the Clippers was Denver championship. They have nothing left any that series. Anyone thinking Denver could beat both LA teams are crazy. No one happier than LeBron that his path to another championship would be this easy.

            • It was Davis that beat the Nuggets last night not LeBron. Lebron once again needs to be carried through a series by other all stars. Just like it was Irving that won the title not LeBron.

              • Curtisrowe

                Yeah Arc, I mean James, at 35 years old is shooting 54 percent in the playoffs, averaging 26 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists. He sure needs to be carried. I am not a fan of James but Bron haters like you are laughable.

              • x%sure

                arc89 ha. Irving had a good game and made the shot but was not the reason the Cavs were there. They made it back in 2018 without him or for the most part, without his replacements.
                Blinded by Bron-hate like so many others.

            • hiflew

              Don’t sleep on the Nuggets. They have been down 3-1 twice and come back already. They are probably not even worried about a 2-0 deficit.

    • Otogar

      Perhaps they would even entertain swapping Paul for Russell Westbrook… no, that would be silly, no one would do it.

  4. x%sure

    Then why not play earlier as happens? A 6:30 game would be mostly over by MNF, 5:30 better.
    Or push everything back instead of skipping? They did that for the protest-thing.
    ElDon can you link?

      • x%sure

        Thanks Otogar. That article by Amick is logically awful, a poor coverup story, but as I work out the bigger picture, I see the WC series have twice gotten two days off between games: Sept.12,15,18. So that’s their benefit.
        The Sept.14 MNF skip is understandable. Today’s maybe no, but that makes it more even, so okay. Denver twice going 4-3 has given the Lakers a breather!

        • The Human Rain Delay

          Now what ill never understand is why they ran Clips/Nugs game 6 at the EXACT moment the NFL was kicking off opening day-

          Love too see the ratings or lack thereof for that one-

          East is still a full game ahead of the West though %

          I dont think they wanted them to possibly have to wait over a week if the Heat swept as well (They made the call at 2-0) so it was resonable to think at the time

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