Nuggets Notes: Murray, Malone, Jokic, Grant

The ultra-resilient Nuggets may have changed the course of the Western Conference Finals with a Game 3 victory as Jamal Murray continued to add to his playoff reputation, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. Denver’s point guard had 28 points, eight rebounds and 12 assists and hit a pair of late 3-pointers to seal the win, and coach Michael Malone said Murray has reached a new level this season.

“Now I know every night what I’m getting from Jamal,” Malone said. “Last year, we knew what we were getting from Nikola (Jokic), but what kind of game would Jamal have. That’s no longer the case. We have two superstars in Nikola and Jamal.”

Murray is thriving in the Disney World environment, averaging 26.6 points, 6.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game since the postseason began. He told Sam Amick of The Athletic that he has a desire to “change the narrative” surrounding him and his team.

“The most important part (is) the energy I bring,” Murray said. “When I’m talking to my teammates, being the vocal leader, going up and down, pushing everyone, they tend to follow. It was fun to see them have a lot of fun today like they did.  We came up with the win. Hopefully we can keep that play up.”

There’s more on the Nuggets:

  • Dejan Milojevic, Jokic’s former coach in Serbia, always believed the big man would succeed in the NBA, according to Jackie MacMullan of ESPN. “There are many great players in the NBA league — superstars — but not many are making their teammates better,” Milojevic said. “That’s all that Nikola ever wanted. He enjoys passing more than scoring. That’s what separates him — the creativity.”
  • Jerami Grant, an unrestricted free agent this fall, has been making a difference for the Nuggets in the playoffs, observes Sean Keeler of The Denver Post. At 6’8″ with a 7’3″ wingspan, Grant has the versatility to guard several different types of opponents. He is affecting LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the conference finals, just like he bothered Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the previous series. “Jerami, he’s been great for us, and we ask a lot from him,” teammate Monte Morris said. “He starts guarding LeBron. We know how (tough) LeBron is. He’s exerting so much energy on defense, you know, it was good to see him get going on offense. It gave us a great boost and it was much needed.”
  • Can the Nuggets stop the Lakers from winning the NBA title? Cast your vote in our poll.
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16 thoughts on “Nuggets Notes: Murray, Malone, Jokic, Grant

  1. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Too bad for Denver that the Lakers got lucky at the end of game 2.

    • GoLandCrabs

      Lucky? They left AD wide open and unlike Westbrick or Eric Gordon he don’t miss when thats the case.

      • Tommy2Cats

        Anthony Davis is a career .319 % 3 point shooter…which is below average for all NBA players…so by definition, yes, he got lucky.

  2. mlbnyyfan

    If Denver wins back to back series against both LA teams the Coach deserves Coach of the decade. It’s very doubtful but would be very exciting

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Beating the Lakers should be no more difficult than beating the Clippers.

      • KnickerbockerAl

        Different matchup. But I agree if they came back 3-1 on Clippers. They definitely got enough to beat Lakers. Difference here is. Bron won’t let team relax. Like Clippers did. Bron knows how close he is. Thats difference from Kawhi n Harden lol. It’s why he’s in Goat conversation. And few others today are.

      • x%sure

        HWM can you not tell the Clippers came apart?— Apparently not. They are NOT equal to the Lakers, weren’t even in the RS when still hopeful.

  3. Curtisrowe

    Murray is not a “superstar”. I don’t get why this word is used so often these days. He averaged 18 points a game this year. That put him tied for 52nd in the NBA.

    His PER was 17.7. which was 75th.

    It’s ridiculous to call him a superstar because of how he has performed over 17 games.

    • phillyballers

      It’s like when a good but not elite prospect balls out in the NCAA tournament and the pundits gush over him.

  4. bknowledge

    Howard is acting like professional wrestler. I watch the games to see basketball not his clownery. The refs did all they could to keep game 3 close…a lot of mugging in the 4th quarter. Lebron’s elbow was in Murray’s chest holding Murray’s arm up on the play that Murray tapped Lebron’s chin…the Lakers were sandwiching Murray trying to screen him…illegally I might add…hard to see how Murray gets out of that sandwich without some contact. Lebron’s too great to be flopping for that cheap call. Plus then later Millsap got hit in the face by Rondo but no call. Some contact is incidental and unavoidable. Not everything is a flagrant foul. Pretty soon the league is gonna guys who specialize in drawing flagrant fouls by putting their heads in the way of guys arms. During a rebound where Howard got called for a foul, Howard ran into Jokic’s lower back as if Howard was a linebacker tackling a running back; this is actually really serious and a way to injure Jokic’s lower back. If the NBA lets Howard injure one of it’s most interesting and uniquely talented players, that would be a tremendous shame.

  5. KnickerbockerAl

    Murray has shown up these playoffs. He’s 23, all young players need defining series. If Porter can be consistent off bench. I mean really consistent 16 a gm. They got depth to go 7. I keep wondering about their strength. Two seven gm series already. I keep wondering about them. But they keep showing up. Rockets fanatic is right. That shot misses and this is another conversation. They played terrible D on that play. They know that, they seen it. And came back and showed us. I would not count them out. I had Clippers. And I still believe they beat Lakers. Denver has convinced me. This is going seven. Bron is too close to let Lakers lose. But they still have to play. And Jokic and Murray can still have those huge gms. I’m taking it one gm at a time and enjoying it.

    • Curtisrowe

      He has shown up for sure. He has been excellent. Just saying, to me, he has to do it for a whole year to be a superstar. For reference I wouldn’t call Tatum or Booker superstars either. Maybe it’s just semantics..

  6. imindless
    imindless

    Anyone else notice how fake and scripted nba games are? Like lakers lead in rebounds first 2 games and through out playoffs to only get a handful in game 3? You don’t forget how to rebound one game to the next they desperately want to keep nuggets in the mix. Coupled with refing aiding nuggets in game 1 and 2 this series should be a blow out. Won’t because the dollars are to large and the nba wants it to seem like it’s a tough route for lebron and co.

  7. Tommy2Cats

    Anthony Davis is a career .319 % 3 point shooter…which is below average for all NBA players…so by definition, yes, he got lucky.

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