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.